Dad’s Life: To nag or not to nag?

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AFTER weeks of less than gentle cajoling, 15-year-old Gabriel has started his GCSE revision.

It’s difficult to get the balance right between nagging and concerned pressure, and I’m still not sure we’ve got it right.

He’s a bright, sensible young man, but as a parent you want to make sure he gives himself every chance of success.

Of course, he’s adamant that none of his mates have started revising for the exams, which start in earnest in late May.

I remember my friends trotting the same ‘cool’ line 30 years ago to find out later they’d all been swotting since Christmas.

There is an awful lot of pressure on Gabriel and his year group at this time, and it will only crank up until the exams are over. Is it fair on them at such tender years?

Probably not, but where they’re going, older generations have already been and got the T-shirts.

I suppose the difference will be the increased competition for Gabriel’s generation.

Competition for university places will be tougher, and it looks certain that competit ion in the jobs market will be more intense than it has been in living memory.

All of which seem a world away from the 15 minutes of physics revision Gabriel did in the dining room on Sunday night.

But it was a start on what I’m afraid will be a challenging and often difficult journey.

ISAAC has finally had his hair cut. This took some persuasion, although I’m on tricky ground here as in the mists of time, I had long hair.

It was long enough to headbang to, and to the strains of Status Quo, Rainbow and Led Zeppelin, that is exactly what I was doing three decades ago.

It has to be said that Isaac’s hair was nowhere near as long as mine was all those years ago, but it could never be described as ‘tidy.’ Goodness knows what my own mother used to think of my straggly locks all those years ago.

Anyway, the lad eventually accepted the need for a cut.

I’m proud to say that a football session was the clincher. I’m delighted to say Isaac, 13, has taken up football at school.

My regular reader will recall my frustration at neither of my boys feeling affinity for, or attraction to, the beautiful game.

However, Isaac came home after a training session and said his hair was too long and getting in his eyes.

I agreed and booked the appointment within a minute.

Now he says he wants much shorter hair, but wants to do it gradually. He wants a weekly appointment until his hair is short enough.

I’ve been sorting out my heavy metal CDs for him ...