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2012-2013 newbie parents support

friendlymomfriendlymom Registered User Posts: 379 Member
edited November 2012 in Prep School Parents
Someone on the previous first-year parents support thread suggested starting version 2.0 so here we go.

We got a call last night from a Vth form girl who is going to be in our daughter's dorm. She lives in the same area we do and wanted to know if DD would have a chance to meet up with her before leaving for school. That was a really sweet and welcoming thing to do - she's not DD's official big sister or anything, just reached out. DD was thrilled to hear from her.
Post edited by friendlymom on

Replies to: 2012-2013 newbie parents support

  • calhockeymomcalhockeymom Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    My son just started BS at Stanstead College in Quebec, just over the border from Vermont. it seems like a great place and he chose it for hockey. However he seems to be pretty homesick this first week. He's texting and calling his best friend at home a lot (according to the usage records) and sometimes in the middle of the night. I know this is probably temporary but I hope he adjusts pretty quickly....if the midnight texting and calls continue I'll need to take action. Any suggestions to help with adjustment?
  • ThacherParentThacherParent Registered User Posts: 811 Member
    calhockey....if it were my boy, I might let the adviser or prefect (or both) know, but I'd keep my touch light because there are almost always bouts of homesickness in the first year and sometimes the second. Nothing is better to reduce homesickness than involvement with people and activities, which brings a sense of belonging, comfort and independence. Console yourself with the knowledge that one of the great benefits of Stanstead is not the hockey, but the independence and maturity that facing and overcoming homesickness produces.
  • calhockeymomcalhockeymom Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    Thanks Thacher parent. I checked his usage again and he spent the entire evening and into the wee hours texting his best friend (a girl btw). I did tell him yesterday he needs to calm down with her and sleep but he didn't listen. The last text was at 1:45 am!!! It means he's not connecting with the other kids and on top of that probably completely exhausted. I did email his advisor, who is also on the dorm floor, and told him there were some adjustment issues. We'll see what comes next, this really took me by surprise as he has always adapted easily to new situations and been very outgoing. Thanks for the reminder that this is part of the learning experience!
  • friendlymomfriendlymom Registered User Posts: 379 Member
    I think they're all going to have to overcome some challenge in adjusting. My D is very social and loves hanging out with friends. I can already tell that her challenge will be taking herself away from something going on because she'll need to study or sleep.

    I remember from my own boarding school experience that if you haven't gotten yourself into a group of friends the first week or so can be hard, until activities and classes really get going. Hopefully a regular schedule will make it easier for your son to get involved.
  • dodgersmomdodgersmom Registered User Posts: 7,304 Senior Member
    Any suggestions to help with adjustment?

    Yes, suggest he use Google chat - it costs less! (And has video capability!)

    Your son WILL connect with the other kids. It's pretty unavoidable - they live together, eat together, take classes together. But it may take some time, and it's natural to regard friends back home as a "lifeline." My son had a very rough first several months at BS . . . things didn't really improve until after Christmas break. But once things turned around, the change was dramatic! For him, it was the right activity, with the right group of kids . . . and he was "home."

    And our situation had some extenuating circumstances that made the adjustment particularly difficult. For most kids, it doesn't take nearly that long. So don't be discouraged . . . just give it some time. And send something edible he can share with the other kids on his hall!
  • calhockeymomcalhockeymom Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    Thanks for the reassurance! I talked to him and he calmed me down a bit, said he just couldn't sleep, and sounded happier after a day of outdoor activities. I'm hopeful that he will stop texting at a reasonable hour tonight. Must remind myself not to go into panic mode at every bump in the road!
  • friendlymomfriendlymom Registered User Posts: 379 Member
    I'm already realizing that there are some things I'm better off not knowing about. So I willfully avoid trying to keep an eye on when she's logged in online, etc. I keep telling myself that if I didn't think she could handle figuring out how to strike that balance I shouldn't have let her go to boarding school!

    So my suggestion to you is to force yourself NOT to look at the texting logs...easier said than done of course...
  • calhockeymomcalhockeymom Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    He appears to be settling in well at this point. In our conversations he has raved about certain teachers and classes, something that almost never happened in his large public school. I'm feeling really happy about that while definitely still adjusting to having him so far away. He'll come home in October for Canadian Thanksgiving so that will help. I did check his usage a couple times but it was all reasonable. Phew. So far so good. Thanks for the reassurance.
  • carolaurcarolaur Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    My daughter has been gone for two weeks. Her school blocks facebook during the day, turns it back on after classes until lights out, and then shuts off the internet. For new girls, they also take cell phones away each night before study hall and don't give them back until morning. This has limited communication somewhat--sometimes my daughter forgets to pick up her phone in the a.m.--but it means kids can't text friends at home all night and hopefully they start to integrate more quickly.

    It is hard on the parents, but I think it is a good policy. The girls get their phones back full-time after parents' weekend. I like the idea of having a weekly phone call appointment. I know I am sending too many facebook messages about boring things like laundry. I have already sent one care package and thinking up what to send in the next one.

    I am glad to be back on the message board for support. It was great last year during the application process.
  • friendlymomfriendlymom Registered User Posts: 379 Member
    Welcome back carolaur. I find this board a terrific resource as well. The practical side of it is invaluable. Plus, the moral support is great. I don't have many parents around me in the same boat and I don't really feel free talking about some of the ups and downs of being a boarding school parent with most of the people I know, who fall somewhere on the spectrum from disapproval to jealousy about our DD being away at school.

    The way they seem to solve the phone issue at my DD's school is by having terrible reception. Even Verizon, which is supposed to be "good", is barely there on my DD's phone. They're not supposed to use phones on campus outside their rooms and from what I understand that's enforced. We rely pretty exclusively on facebook outside the weekly phone call/skype. One thing that I like about DD being at boarding school is how much less of a presence media/electronics are in her life already so I don't mind at all.
  • wcmom1958wcmom1958 Registered User Posts: 351 Member
    "I don't have many parents around me in the same boat and I don't really feel free talking about some of the ups and downs of being a boarding school parent with most of the people I know, who fall somewhere on the spectrum from disapproval to jealousy about our DD being away at school."

    I could've written this. It IS lonely being a BS parent. I find that now that my D is a senior and some of her local friends are starting college, some local parent friends are discovering -- and being vocal about - what it's like when your child leaves. I get it, but can't say "and it's worse when they are 14 than when they are 18." I do hear from many that they are very ready for their 18 year-olds to leave. I was not ready for my 14/15 year-olds to leave.

    That said, I am in my third year as a BS parent, second as an empty-nester and it's fine now. I would even say that I think our relationships are stronger than I think they would be if they were home. Those first months for both were an adjustment and it took a while to establish a mutually beneficial communication routine, but with some adjustments on both sides we got there. We've had to give them space, but also reign them in when they seemed too far adrift. Parenting teens is hard near or far, but now the time we spend is so joyful and I know it wouldn't be that way if they had stayed here and continued to be frustrated.
  • redbluegoldgreenredbluegoldgreen Registered User Posts: 1,256 Senior Member
    Let me just say, it's especially hard when the second out of two go.
    Now the house is really empty. Dear Hubbie and I spend a lot of time staring at each other. Yes, the house is cleaner, no one to pick up after...but at the same time...you can hear a pin drop. But this WE, is their first weekend home. Even though the pile of HW couldn't be higher, it's still nice to have them around at meal time. :)
  • friendlymomfriendlymom Registered User Posts: 379 Member
    This coming weekend is family weekend at D's school and I'm sure that others are experiencing some of their first visits as well, either on an official school weekend or just dropping in. Is there anything we should know or expect from this visit? Does anyone have an experience or some wisdom to share? Thank you!
  • mountainhikermountainhiker Registered User Posts: 809 Member
    We just returned from Parent's Weekend at DD's school. It was wonderful to see her in her new surroundings, obviously thriving and happy. I don't know how Parent's Weekend works at other schools, but on Friday we were able to sit in on all her classes, and on Saturday we attended a parent/faculty breakfast, as well as pre-scheduled conferences with her teachers.

    We went on a shopping run Saturday afternoon (the grocery store for snacks and soda, Target and Walgreens for other necessities), and she spent the night with us in our hotel on Saturday night. It was great just to "hang out" together, watch a movie, sleep late and go to brunch the next day. Sunday afternoon, we brought her laundry over to the hotel, and she did her laundry in the hotel's guest laundry room while we watched football together. I think she enjoyed getting out of her dorm for a night, and it was really nice to have some relaxed, unstructured time with her.

    We will attend Parent's Weekend at DS's school in two weeks, and the schedule seems pretty similar.
  • calhockeymomcalhockeymom Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    So envious. Sounds like a wonderful weekend. My son's school has a parents' DAY (not weekend) and it is too far away for us to go. I was thinking of emailing his teachers since we won't be able to meet them. I would like to feel some contact with his academic life.
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