Inside A Parents Mind: Making Tough Decisions In Parenting


Inside A Parents Mind: Making Tough Decisions In Parenting

By Donovan Grant

Have you ever been told off by your children? Or have your ever told your parents off? If you can hand on heart say “no” to both of these questions then I commend you. If you’re in the “yes” group then join the club.

I am not saying that it’s right but when you hear the words you are just like the teachers”, doesn’t that cause you any pain? The first thought that comes to your mind is “no I’m not!”

The problem is that teenagers see things through different filters than you do.

Rule #1 in parenting is that there is a triangle between the school, your child and yourself. This triangle is like a bond and when the three sides of the triangle are balanced, and then your child’s education and growth are on track. However, when one side is out of sync it becomes like a soccer team who have never played together before.

Imagine if the teacher is not getting through to your child, the result is the child will not learn. Or what if your child does not put in the required effort, they will most likely fall behind the rest of the class (and maybe even give up)! And what about you the parent; if you don’t support your child and the school, then this may lead to a lack of focus for your child.

Isn’t it great to be an integral part of your child's education?

Just pause for a moment and ask yourself “how am I doing in my child’s education triangle?” If you home school then you’ll be wearing two hats otherwise you’ll just have one role to think about. When you check in with yourself, this helps you to keep the development of the child a priority. And it’s not about being a perfect parent because we all know that perfection is way overrated. What we care about is give our children the best educational start in life.

The regular school program is not the only learning that children need though. They need to develop emotional intelligence too. When children are aware of what their emotions mean, it can help them a lot when challenges come their way.

Just imagine an 18 year old young lady who is in the final year of school studies. She is doing really well in her favourite subject and in the other two, it’s just ok. Mum and dad go to the school for parents evening and the teachers give you the news: “your daughter is on target for ‘C’ at best and she needs to put in extra effort to raise her grades.”

Do you remember being hit with a line like this with school teachers?

Committed parents always try to honour their role and do what is in their power to help a child. We help with homework schedules, we assist in subjects that we are familiar with and we help them to stay focused by removing unnecessary distractions.

What happens when a BIG distraction comes along and messes up your child's studies?

My own daughter was offered a two week work experience at BBC studios in London. She has a passion for journalism and media since about seven years old, so she was super excited about the opportunity. The reality is that she has been writing to them every autumn for the last four years. To say she was bouncing off the walls with excitement is not far from the truth!

Doesn’t something always happen when big opportunities come your way? She had a problem, a big problem at that. She needed to be absent from school for one week!

The school were not happy about this at all. In fact two of her three teachers said something similar to “under no circumstances!”

Of course this posed a big problem for mum and dad… what do you? Support your child or support the teachers.

What would you do?

We believe 100% in the educational triangle and the development of the child comes first for all our children.  In this situation, one side of the triangle had to give way to the other two.

“You’re just like the teachers!”

“Under no circumstances!”

The similarity of these two voices was that they both had emotional attachment. My daughter had a burning desire and passion. She saw this as a huge step towards her dream and everything else did not matter. She would not be denied.

The teachers saw a student who was capable and could try harder in two subjects. They want the best for every pupil that they nurture and to them missing nine hours of classroom time would do more damage than good.

Have you had to make a decision with your heart instead of your head?

We spoke to my daughter and to the head teacher to keep the triangle in balance. In the end we went against the schools judgment.

Who knows your own children better than you?

We had to believe in our daughter. She is a spirited young lady but I have never heard her speak so passionately at what the work experience means to her. Her reason was big enough for us to have faith in her and risk the wrath of the school.

Success for the next generation depends on not just doing the things right, but doing the right thing. Let’s do right thing and raise our children for success.

We love to serve you every day.


What do you think? Have you had to choose between your child and the school? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

Ps. We have since drawn up a commitment contract regarding her focused and no partying study program for the next four months.

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. 

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  • Isn’t it great that teachers and parent can work together to the benefit of the children? I think though that we always must let the children know that the parents have the last say and not the teachers. I really like to read how much you treasure your fatherhood Donovan! 

  • Shahina Lakhani

    Great article, we know our children the best and its is of utmost importance that we do the right thing for our children and our family. Most of the times it involves thinking outside the box.

  • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

    That was a really hard decision, Donovan, and I can appreciate the bind you were in! As I said to a friend this week, I have a very wide and flexible definition of what being a good parent consists of. That means, my definition may be different than another person’s. In fact, I try not ot be judgemental. By I have definitely taken flak this week, for taking an unpopular stand! So don’t worry what the teachers think, you are so right to make the decision by what you and your s.o. think!

  • I love that you supported your daughter’s passion! That truly was the only choice in my opinion! By doing so you gave her not only your blessing to follow her dream but a huge lesson in how much you value her choices and what matters to her…High Five to You Donovan!!:)

  • Hi Donovan…Great article! Passion supporting Passion…excellent decision, sometimes as parents we do have to intervene when the dreams and passion of our children are challenged…we have to communicate our support and be committed to showing our support…Cheers to you and your daughter…Thanks, Hughie 🙂

  • Brilliant article Donovan! I totally agree – We know our children and it is our responsibility that we do the right things for our children and our family.  Thanks for sharing this post with us 🙂

  • Oh, you kept me in suspense…I’m glad you honour your daughter’s desire and passion. You are a great dad and a good example, Donovan.

  • R. Doug Wicker

    Now this is funny—I have a Google analytics search set up for the words “Donovan,” “Grant,” and “Decisions.”  So, guess whose blog popped up in my eMail box today?

    Do some digging and you’ll find out why.

  • Absolutely Olga. The parent teacher combo is the best way forward. Thanks for your great feedback – fatherhood has made me an even better me!!

  • Glad you enjoyed the suspense!!

  • Thanks Hughie, my daughter is a much happier las!!