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Parents' Cafe: Why Are We Doing This?

laxtaxilaxtaxi Registered User Posts: 758 Member
edited July 2011 in Prep School Admissions
Since we don't have a separate parents' cafe yet, I'm hoping this thread will start one.

Ok, it's true, I'm getting cold feet.

So, Parents, why are we doing this? "We" can be you, or "we" can be Mr. and Mrs. Laxtaxi - why are WE doing this?

There are compelling reasons to keep your offspring at home through high school - influence their upbringing, instill your values, identify negative patterns and behaviors in your relationships with them and fix them before they leave the home for good. Besides, they're fun to have around. Are we really ready to empty the nest yet?
Post edited by laxtaxi on

Replies to: Parents' Cafe: Why Are We Doing This?

  • RTD344RTD344 Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    I think the decision is upon our kids. Are we supposed to support what our kids are trying to achieve? Yes, I think there are a number of benefits that a kid would like to go to a prep school depite of numerous obstacles, including the one laxtaxi identified, living away from home and parents. As a parent, I am here to support my kid's decision to go to a top prep school for more challenges.
  • 4Giggles4Giggles Registered User Posts: 882 Member
    I am crying! of course not in front of the S, but the thought makes me sad. I understand the benefits, but emotionally I am not there:(
  • dadofgoaliesondadofgoalieson Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    First time long time here. I share the same sentiments but find it may be a bit easier for me since I already have shipped a daughter out to college and have a kindergartener waiting in the wings. So I have already been through the experience with D, and I won't have the empty nest feeling with S2 still at home. So S1 gets a break on the emotional thing. Plus I know it's supposed to be all about him and not the parents (although that only goes so far!).

    Of course, I'll be a basket case in September.
  • liv&learnliv&learn Registered User Posts: 152 Junior Member
    You'll be fine. Once you realize how happy, motivated and engaged your children are, you will realize that this is what they need. It is about them afterall. And you'll come to realize that it's worth the sacrifice.
  • baseballmombaseballmom Registered User Posts: 1,610 Senior Member
    There are some old threads on this topic buried in here somewhere. It all boils down to this: You will suffer, your kid will not. The sacrifice and pain is in letting your son or daughter go. You will miss out on seeing them get ready for the dance, seeing the boy come to pick up your daughter, etc.

    BUT, your child just might have the time of their life! The opportunies that will be laid at his/her feet are likely beyond anything available to them at home. The will be exposed to kids rich and poor, from many religions, from many countries, from the urban ghetto, penthouse, farm, or suburb.

    They might view DNA under a microscope for the first time or have a school job where they wait tables for other students or clean toilets in their dorm. They might earn merit or demerits based on an objective set of rules and realize they are accountable for their own actions. They will learn to share. They might develop a relationship with a mentor who changes their life.

    I told this story in an earlier post:
    Years ago, a friend of mine was teaching his young daughter to ride a bike. A local reporter came along and asked if he could take some photos for the paper. Then he asked my friend "what is the hardest part of teaching her?" The dad said, "Letting go of the bike!"
  • bibdadbibdad Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    WHY ARE WE DOING THIS????? That's simple.
    Every situation, every child is different. My D has done her best from day one. She loves competition, both academic and sports, and expects people TO SHOW UP. We have been through many schools, public and private, and it boils down to this: she must be around LIKE PEERS. She needs to be with kids that want to give 100%, will show up with homework done and ready to discuss, kids that want more than mediocrity. I never wanted to give my child up to a BS, but there really is no choice. She expects more, she deserves more. And when a child has that FIRE to exceed, I WILL NOT hold her back.
  • hpflrenthpflrent Registered User Posts: 156 Junior Member
    We are a "normal" family and have no reasons to "send our child away" to school, but as this year slowly winds down, I will say what I say to many friends. Having her go to BS was the best decision this family has ever made, and it was her desire to go in the first place. It is not the right fit for every kid, but if you child wants to be more challenged, is more mature than his/her peers, and is not ready to settle for status quo, then I think BS is a perfect option. It is actually more strict than the lives most kids have at home, heck they can't even drive a car there and can't drive with any other students. The internet and phone gets cut off every night at a certain time, and they have to get permission called into the school for them to go spend a weekend with a day student or other friend who doesn't live too far away. The point is, they are responsible for themselves and getting out of bed and to class and have no parent waking them up or nagging them to do anything. So if you have a kid who is up to the responsibility, then please, for their sake, let them go. It isn't about you and how sad you will be, it is about doing the best you can for your child.
  • keylymekeylyme Registered User Posts: 2,825 Senior Member
    We did it because it was what both of my sons wanted more than anything. They both, of their own accord, worked for years to be strong candidates. I could not, in good conscience, deny them something they want so badly that is so very beneficial to them. To want to force them to remain at home an in their public school would have been selfish.
  • laxtaxilaxtaxi Registered User Posts: 758 Member
    Keep them coming, people. It's helping.
  • springisintheairspringisintheair Registered User Posts: 451 Member
    any info/advice on FA...what is the formula to determine how much one can pay??? Are there any other funds, such as recruited athlete, musician, etc. in endowments, etc.!??! Any advice...not sure if my daughter can attend without significant aid? Income formula info anywhere?!?!??!
  • saddadsaddad Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    laxtaxi: We are going through the same feelings as you. On Monday morning when we opened the electronic decision site from the first school and saw S was accepted, my wife burst into tears in front of S. She just couldn't help herself. When S came home that evening from school, he was very quiet and announced he wasn't going away and had only applied to these selective schools to see if he could get in. (I know that isn't true; but I was so proud of him for his offer of sacrifice to make his Mom happier. I will really miss that kid.) This process is hard on the whole family. He is our youngest and if he goes away we will be prematurely empty-nesters by a couple of years. Even though we are a very close family and this will break up the "pack" before we were ready, I suspect we will send S away. I don't agree that it will be easy for him the first year-he didn't do very well at sleepaway camps-and I think it will be hard, at least at first. However, on balance, we think that, if one finds a school that really fits, it is a wonderful opportunity and worth the sacrifice. I know others have written about fit, but that really seems to be the key. I have seen great kids ruined at really great schools because the situation wasn't right. However, I have also seen shy and ordinary kids really blossom and develop into mature, self-confident, crtically- thinking and very decent adults at boarding school-and still be happy. The other important points are why you are interested in boarding school and how your child feels about it. If it is only about getting into a better college, then there is a real chance you will both be disappointed-and I have known many parents who bitterly regret sending their child away for this reason. On the other hand, if you want the excellent education, the sports and e/c's, the lifetime friendships, etc., and the possiblitity of a better college is the icing on the cake, you will not be disappointed if you find the right school. Your child really needs to buy into the concept. If they feel they are being sent away from all their friends and don't really want to go, they may sabotage (consciously or not) their experience and you could have real trouble. If they are realistically enthusiastic (and perhaps a little nervous), then they should, hopefully, do well. Hang in there!
  • 4xprep4xprep Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    I am very anxious about my S. He was accepted to the school he liked the least but we like the best. Was waitlisted at two others and accepted with no FA at another(his top choice).
    the one he was accepted to, It is close to my sister. I feel comfortable that he will have her. He will play some sports there. Albeit , maybe not the ones he wants to play.. will get a great eduaction...... make new friends...have some great experieces ... courses that would not have been an option at his public HS.
    he feels he wants to go( because we have 2 other daughter who attend very prestigious prep/and or private schools) I hope he is making the right decision. Please make me feel better...............
  • laxtaxilaxtaxi Registered User Posts: 758 Member
    We feel pretty fortunate, actually. First, no outright rejections. Second, an acceptance at a school about which we feel great. Third, waitlisted at a school D wanted most, but not exclusively. We can wait to see if she gets off the waitlist there, and if not, go happily to the school that accepted her. Fourth, waitlisted at a 'top' name school to which I am sure she applied because she thought it would make us happy even though I never thought it was a great fit.

    OTOH, not a penny in FA offered. Retirement is overrated, right? After all, I might get hit by a bus or an asteroid anyway.

    But the original post was about the impending empty nest. It feels (d-uh, to quote my kids) empty already. Older child going abroad for senior year, younger child going to BS. It wasn't supposed to happen like this, or so soon! I know it's a compliment, our kids feel safe to take off on their own and explore. I would have jumped at these opportunities when I was there age.
  • sbergmansbergman Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    I have had some parents tell me that BS actually improved the quality of their interactions with their child. Mom and Dad went from alarm clock/cook/chauffeur to someone their child calls to discuss what they're learning, and their relationships and aspirations. Parents also say that during breaks everyone really made an effort to spend quality time together. The good news is that we live in an age when there are so many quick and easy ways to communicate.

    On the downside, I have also had parents tell me that one of the hardest things for them was losing the social network that they had through their children's school lives.
  • kamaolekamaole Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    I am not ready to let d go. The moment I saw all the acceptance mails...reality struck. What have I done? I was and still is overwhelmed at the moment and because I was trying to hide my emotions d thought I wasn't proud of her cause she didn't aim for Andover or something. Right now I still haven't had a quiet moment to reflect on things and "get a hold of myself" cause there's so much confusion and decisions have to be made soon. The thoughts shared by all of you have been truly helpful, I'm so glad someone started this thread...I thought I was the only one being so emotional. This morning after dropping d off to school, I happen to listen to this song by Katherine Jenkins...it was this song titled, "I will pray for you" (I think) and I just had to stop the car along the way cause tears were welling up and I couldn't drive.
This discussion has been closed.