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Hostility to parents who "send their kids away" to BS

GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
edited July 2012 in Prep School Parents
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Replies to: Hostility to parents who "send their kids away" to BS

  • D'yer MakerD'yer Maker Registered User Posts: 3,421 Senior Member
    ^ Thx
  • 123mama123mama Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    I saw that thread last night--and thank you for your response. By the time I saw it, the parent seemed quite content to move on, so I didn't see any point to jumping in.

    I think I've said it here before, bs is not something I was familiar with, certainly not on the radar when I was a kid. At that time, in my world, bs = juvie, or something out of the old Harold Robbins glitz and glamour novels, I thought they were fiction.

    I have encountered a lot of hostility to our family's bs decisions along the way. Sometimes frustrating, sometimes stressful, sometimes an opportunity to educate. Bottom line, I can honestly say that as parents, we have always put a tremendous amount of thought and research into every decision we've made, bs included. I've missed DS1 terribly, and I'm now facing how much much I will miss DS2. However, I do not regret it, nor does DS1. He is now a college freshman, and his college adjustment was a breeze compared to the majority of his peers. He is a fine young man; I think he would have been one anyway, but bs enabled him to have the opportunities to grow and stretch in ways that he wouldn't have otherwise. We have remained very close. Last week we skyped early in the morning, and later in the day I happened to be visiting my mother when he called her to say hi. She handed me the phone, and he said, "You know, Ma, I was telling a few friends that we skyped earlier, and I always feel such a boost when we talk. They didn't understand what I was saying, they said they feel worse after speaking with their parents." Do I think that sentiment is because of bs? No. But it does tell me trusting my mama-gut, and doing what we feel is best for us as a family, is working out just fine.
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    D'yer Maker, great response (as usual)! :-)
  • education1steducation1st Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    Thank you for posting the link and for, as always, the thoughtful responses to the parents on the other forum. I just wanted to say that what 123mama stated is exactly what was going through my mind as I read through the thread. We all try to do what is best for our kids and for my D, bs turned out to be best though it wasn't anything we had ever considered until she spent 9th grade in a public hs and was so miserable we knew something needed to change. I would echo that we are just as close, if not closer, than ever and she is thriving like she couldn't do in our area, even given all of our attention, love, and resources. There is a depth to bs that is hard to replicate. Having said that, though, it sure isn't right for all kids and I tell people who question me about it that sending her to bs was the most unselfish thing I have ever done. As a family, we had to be as certain as we could be that we found a good 'fit' in her school, that she was capable and ready to live 13 hours away from us, and that we would just have to deal with missing her. All kids are different and as parents I think if we keep our kids needs in the forefront we will do alright :)
  • Momof7thgraderMomof7thgrader Registered User Posts: 317 Member
    I think I'm going to need to grow a thicker skin or come up with snappy comebacks if my experience yesterday was any indication.

    DD chose the BS path for a number of reasons but we only looked at smaller, "hidden gems" that had unique qualities (i.e. Quaker, progressive, experiential) because we know she would not do well in a hyper competitive school.

    So..DD in her excitement at acceptances Facebooked them as they came. Yesterday morning at our local bagel shop I ran into someone I consider a friend, normally a lovely person. First she says something along the lines of "I'm sure her race was a huge help in getting her accepted" to which my only response was a look of incredulity. Then she told me that her daughter A (previously my kid's babysitter now at college) "never wanted to go to private school because she felt it's like living in a bubble and then those kids get to college and they are completely out of the bubble." Besides the statement making no sense at all, all I could figure out was that she wanted to make sure I knew that she was judging me and I was obviously making poor choices. Uh - ok I'm going to head to the counter and order.

    A few minutes later I'm waiting for our order to be completed and she basically accosts me with the following statement "I hadn't heard of X school so I looked it up and I don't like it AT ALL". Um, what? Seriously, did that just come out of your mouth? "The buildings aren't very impressive". At this point, I decide that I've apparently misjudged the mental capacity of this person all these years and say very slowly and carefully "we've researched and visited all the schools DD applied to and are quite comfortable with our choices thankyouverymuch". I'm in such a state of shock I don't even know where to look, several people can overhear this conversation and it was unbelievably awkward.

    I have some hope that most people will react more appropriately but it was a pretty disconcerting encounter.
  • wcmom1958wcmom1958 Registered User Posts: 351 Member
    Ah yes. I am nodding my head as I read this. BS is the best thing to ever happen for our children but the most isolating for us parents. Just the other night I ran into a former friend who became so nasty when our D went away that I avoid her at all costs now. 123mama could be me, and I ache for those of us who have to deal with hostility for our decision. Sometimes I feel self-conscious about lurking on this board, but honestly, sometimes it feels like the only community where it is safe to talk about the kids. How sad!
  • bsalumbsalum Registered User Posts: 549 Member
    I agree that facing the hostility it tough. I've had my kids at public, private and boarding. We are not wealthy and I get a lot of comments...regarding a waste of money, how could I do that to my kid- she'll fell unloved...and it goes on and on. Both my children tell me repeatedly how happy they are- and wouldn't want it any other way.
  • ExieMITAlumExieMITAlum . Posts: 2,367 Senior Member
    It is fear of the unknown mixed with a bit of jealousy, frankly. The "old" thinking was boarding school was something a child was forced to do. Most of these people don't know children are now advocating to go.

    Absent of their own options, many people will cut down yours.

    By the way - some of the parents on the other thread who adamantly advocate "keep them close for as long as possible," or "who will love them as well as we do?" are the ones still hovering over their students at college interviews, setting up the dorms, and otherwise unable to cut their co-dependent apron strings when the time comes.
  • parkermomparkermom Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    So, this past summer we had one child announcing her intention to apply to boarding school....and meanwhile, we decided that I (a certified teacher) would home-school our 4th grader for at least one year.

    People sure didn't know how to respond to us! They were so confused. They couldn't decide whether we were cruel and heartless to even consider "shipping off" the 14 year old to another corner of the country...or whether we were creepily over-protective (and weird) to keep the 10 year "locked away from society" all year!

    My mother-in-law was decidedly against BOTH choices, but she couldn't figure out which argument worked against both scenarios. It was pretty funny. :)

    My husband says I have mastered the motherly art of not-so-politely 'ignoring' all unsolicited comments and suggestions.
  • D'yer MakerD'yer Maker Registered User Posts: 3,421 Senior Member
    Respect, parkermom.
  • alooknacalooknac Registered User Posts: 1,273 Senior Member
    I too have had my kids in all kinds of schools over the years--homeschool (unschool), public, Montessori, Catholic, and prep, oh and even Milton Hershey! Whatever is best for the kids, not whatever preconceived notions I might have.

    I am pleased that several of my friends' kids attended boarding schools and I don't think they would have thought of it if not for us. They chose very different schools compared to my son but they were what worked for their situations.

    I never did boarding school and homeschool simultaneously though. Keep up your great attitude.
  • kathieh1kathieh1 Registered User Posts: 658 Member
    I hope you find online support from other parents who have made these choices. I'm sure it would help. Years ago a lot of my friends put their kids into private schools. We were lucky to live in an area with many private choices, but also many public schools that were strong. I personally chose to stick with public school, and we've been lucky that it worked out well. I remember the sense of isolation I felt with my friends choosing private schools and telling me how much better they were for the kids. At this point I just think it's best to do what is best for your child - given where you live and what you can afford, and always be ready to change the plan if you need to or find it's not working out. Just stay close to your kids and make sure they are happy and thriving.
  • skibum4skibum4 Registered User Posts: 282 Junior Member
    "Absent of their own options, many people will cut down yours." Such an insightful observation Exie -- putting a sticky on that one!
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    Exie, I wish there was a "Like" button to click on that one!
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,302 Senior Member
    It is very nice when we can find a support group of what we believe in, but it doesn't mean there is no basis on what others are questioning. I don't get BS just as much as I don't get home schooling because it is not something I would want for my kids. At the same time, I had a lot of neighbors who didn't understand why we decided to spend 30k+ a year to send our kids to a private school when we had perfectly good public school. There is no clear cut answer for what is right for each child. I don't think those parents are wrong in questioning why some parents would want to send their kids to BS, it is not out of envy. I also don't think people who send their kids to BS are not close to their kids or do it because they are selfish. They do it because it is what's best for their kids.

    It is important for my kids to have the best education possible. If it meant the only way for them to get it was to go to a boarding, I think I would do it. But luckily we had an excellent day school for our kids to attend and also allowed them to stay home. On my part, there is no hostility to parents who send their kids away to BS, I look at it as something that those parents feel they need to do what's best for their kids.
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