Q: Despite getting a good offer from a decent university, my son is threatening not to go to college at all. He says that even if he gets good A-level results in August, he will do better faster working for three years than studying and partying with his friends. I am dead against it, but could he be right?
Jeremy says: Indeed he could. The fact that he's had a conditional offer from a decent university suggests that he's expected to get good grades in his A levels - so it's not as if he's turning his back on education because he just can't hack it.
And if he thinks he knows what he wants to do with his life, it's clearly not a specific career where he'd know that a degree was essential. He simply wants to get on with things. As someone who knows his character well, you'll have a good idea of his sense of commitment; he sounds pretty determined to me. And the fact that you've made your disapproval so clear will make him even more determined to show that you were wrong.
If you insist on his taking up this place, he could spend three years simply going through the motions - and feeling ever more resentful at your parental interference.
Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. Email him your problems at firstname.lastname@example.org. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.