Shona's story

Subject choices are often the first big decision they have to make. They can have an impact on what careers are open to them when they leave school.

How do you give the best possible advice so your child feels fully informed when making their decision?

‘I wanted Sammy to do art as she has always been great at it,’ says mum Shona.

‘I’m a bit of a frustrated artist myself – but she was dead set on drama. I don’t think I handled it that well at first. I was maybe projecting what I’d wanted to do onto Sammy.’

Supporting your child without being pushy

Professor Ewan Gillon, clinical director of First Psychology Scotland explains, ‘Research shows that the best kind of relationship between parents and their children is one that supports the child to make his or her own choices and decisions, and not feel pushed into a particular direction by the aspirations or wishes of the parent.’

Approaching the situation that way helped Shona.

‘After we’d both calmed down a bit, I said to Sammy that I thought maybe we should have a look at why she wanted to pick the subjects she did,’ she says.

‘When I thought about it, and had a look at the subject choice info the school had given me, I found that there’s a lot you can use drama for, such as confidence building or presenting.

Working together

'We had a go at My Strengths together and it was a good way of getting talking.' Making subject choices starts with listening, talking, and encouraging your child.

Working together with the school, you can offer support by attending parent’s evenings, information events and reviews.