Ask Away!!

I think one thread devoted to random parent questions is a good idea - especially now.

Look at this thread as a one stop alternative if you don’t have enough posts to send a PM or if you’re too polite to hijack an existing thread or if you’re just too shy to start your own thread.

We have you covered here and I’m sure you’ll get a fairly quick response.

For this thread : It can be anything you want to ask. It can be something quick that just popped into your head or something that has been keeping you up at night.

If a student would like to ask a question for their parents ( who don’t have a CC account ), I think that’s fine, too - we’re easy. Okay… maybe not always easy, but our hearts are definitely in the right place . :wink:

Prospective parents ( prior to M10 ) and brand new BS parents ( after M10 ) are always most welcome on this thread anytime and we’ll do our very best to help - whatever it is .

So ask away- and I’m counting on all former and current BS parents to jump in and help !!

OK. I’ll start. How do you know when it’s time to retire from CC, @PhotographerMom? :wink:

(Just kidding)

How hard is is to walk away on move in day?? I’m already a wreck thinking about it ! I know it’s the right thing to do, and our daughter will find her way and thrive, but I’m going to be a hot mess. On my own first day of BS, I immediately found a group of friends (one of whom I had met at summer camp), so I said a quick goodbye to my parents and walked off. My daughter is not as outgoing as I am and slower to make friends, and she won’t know a single person. I worry when we leave, she’ll be all alone in her dorm room. I was really hoping she’d make a friend on revisit day but…well…hopefully the schools will have other ways for accepted students to connect with each other if there is no revisit??

@cityran - My prediction is your daughter will do it the same way you did. Find a pack of kids, and poof! At some point you will get a “love you”, a hug, and then it is done. My kid knew no one, and isn’t the most outgoing, and at sometime after lunch we had to text him to say we were leaving. He was already all-in.

Drop off days are designed for that result. The schools know what they are doing. Thank goodness!

For me the hard part was driving away. I was all cool mom about it until we left and kiddo wasn’t in the car. Then it hit. I sobbed so hard!

But that’s where Parents’ Weekend comes in. I also sobbed then as we drove away, but that time it was tears of joy because the decision for bs was so obviously the right one.

@cityran- Great question and I’m sure others will chime in if I miss something , but unlike when you and I went to BS - BSs today have a ton of bonding activities planned during the first few months ( Dorm, Form and School-wide ) and they will keep new students VERY busy- so lots of wonderful opportunities to make new friends!

Some schools will also pair incoming students with older students - kind of like a big brother or sister thing, too. She will definitely feel right at home right away and make new friends inside and outside the classroom fast- so no worries. Plus, her advisor will keep an eye on her, too ( as an additional layer of support ) and will make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

My best advice is for new BS parents on the first day: Get your child settled quickly ( don’t linger too long even if it kills you . ) and head to the nearest pub for a well-deserved celebratory cocktail . You did it and chances are you’ll likely meet other BS parents there, too! :slight_smile:

@ChoatieMom - Now? :wink:

Actually, FWIW- I’ve wanted to do a thread with kind of a Misc. Ramblings vibe like this one for a really long time now. Hopefully it works! We’ll see!! :slight_smile:

Quick PSA : This is NOT an Ask Photographermom thread, people - so dive in!!

@ChoatieMom is putting me out to pasture so veteran BS parents need to step up and get in the game! :wink:

Another newbie question: how do you deal with reactions from friends and family who think you’ve lost your mind and are completely crazy or must not love your child if you can send them away? It’s hard enough to let my daughter go, but I am really struggling with the reactions from the few people who are aware she probably is going to boarding school.


I had an in-law practically stage an intervention before we’d even applied!

“No school is worth [$$$]”, “You don’t want your kid bullied by those spoiled rich kids”, “Sounds really stupid” (referring to a school website that listed their gender balance as “identifies as”), and…
“You should relocate to [their state], establish residency, and apply to [STEM Charter school]”… (My kid isn’t gaga about STEM, so why push a STEM school that doesn’t specialize in any of the things she’s passionate about?!)

Don’t deal with any reactions; just ignore them. Or you can pick up some responses from a similar thread over on the main board:

You are not required to respond to rudeness or justify your family’s decision–about anything. If you absolutely must respond, you can say, “You know, you’re absolutely right. What WERE we thinking? I do need to find another martini, please excuse me, darling.” And then head toward the bar/bathroom/parking lot/hills.

1 Like

You might want to peruse this old thread for some great perspectives:

where you will stumble across these classics:

And this favorite from @PhotographerMom:

I think this board used to be a lot more fun. Just sayin’

“Bless your heart!” does wonders as I would venture you’re aware :slight_smile:

@DroidsLookingFor that is perfect!

Just want to say I had a HOLY COW moment yesterday when DD got her first acceptance. It’s the first time I had an awful pit in my stomach, really realizing she will go away. I definitely had the “what have I done?” experience.

I’m dying, @ChoatieMom . In K2’s defense- he was in 7th grade when he got shipped off to BS . And for people here who don’t know about my charming husband “Photodad” - he used to copy the BS tuition agreements and checks for each kid and wrap them up in beautiful boxes and put them underneath the tree at Christmastime…

And everyone here thinks he’s the " fun " parent… shocking.

Here’s great old thread about The First Year :

For negative attitudes towards BS- this is a very good thread, too :

I had to dig for this gem, but it’s my absolute favorite thread of all time: What to wear at drop off :

@Calliemomofgirls - Congratulations ( !!! ) and we’re here for you!! I chose this old thread just for you!! Hope it helps! :slight_smile:

@stalecookies - I have struggled with this. I live in a place where boarding school isn’t a thing. People don’t know anything about it, other than the trope that you send a kid to military school if they don’t behave.

That, and people are “all in” supporting the public schools. People (including us) move here for the schools. The parent organization and helicopter parenting is epic. Choosing to send your kid elsewhere is a challenge to a fundamental value system and parenting choices. I have been told to my face that I was abdicating my parenting responsibilities to strangers, aka failing my child. By one of my best friends.

My response to the question “where is kiddo going to high school” Has evolved over time, to full-throatedly owning it. “Actually, he is going a a boarding school. Public school wasn’t working for him, we thrashed around for options, stumbled on this school, and I couldn’t design a better high school for him. He absolutely loves it. It broke my heart a little to let him go, but there’s no denying he is thriving.”

I have found people are actually curious about it, ask a lot of questions, and then admit they aren’t loving public school, either. People get it even if they would never do it themselves - so long as you make it about your family’s choice, not about their choice for their family.

Another add on that helps is - “ think about when you were a teen, wouldn’t you have wanted to get away from your family, too?”

Perfect response and agreed. It’s VERY hard to respond in a way that isn’t received as any sort of referendum on them or their kids.

The harder part is when they ask “that has to be crazy expensive! How do manage that?”

I usually talk about the fab financial aid, and that it is something that we as a family decided was a priority.

And that it isn’t as bad as it sounds, once you factor in that the school is feeding my teenage boy.

Seriously, though, once you add in club sports, extra tutoring that is normal around here, the required donations to the public schools, a car, insurance, social life, etc., it is not exactly cheap to send a kid to public school, either.

When our oldest decided on BS we lived in Las Vegas and no-one we knew had any clue what BS was. We faced similar reactions. At first we tried to explain all the amazing opportunities BS would provide. We quickly realized this came across as defensive to some folks as if we were justifying our choice. Over the years we changed tactics to a “don’t engage” mentality. Just smile and nod- thanks for your concern- but it works for our family was the common refrain. Years later when one family member attended one if our kids graduation at PEA, they confided they now “got it”.

As for the dreaded drop off freshmen year, I can assure it isn’t the kids we should worry about- but definitely the parents. Some schools do arrange for new parents to meet at a local restaurant for a great bonding moment. If your school doesn’t arrange this/ reach out and ask if you can. We made many connections when we attended this type of event with our first drop off.

And make sure you give them plenty of space the first few weeks, let them lead the contact. When you do talk, just remember, that many times, they like to dump all their troubles on you (because you are a safe space) but then hang up the phone and go back on their merry way. Meanwhile you might be left fretting about how miserable they are. This is known as the swoop and poop- best to be prepared.

Many schools will have almost every minute of the first 2 weeks planned out so that your child never finds themself all alone. At DS school, they eat by dorm during that time so there are no awkward finding a table to sit at situations.

On the drop off… it’s really hard. There are lots of things you can do beforehand to minimize some of the more frenetic emotions of it. The school will almost certainly make sure your kid’s experience is a million times easier than yours (which helps your head, if not your heart.)

As for reactions, I think if “bless your heart” doesn’t work, you say something to the effect of "We really wrestled with how to get kiddo the best high school experience for kiddo, and for our family, this was it. It’s gonna be a brave new world for all of us. " it’s hard to do have this conversation without the listener feeling that you are critical of their choice (if they havekids in the LPS you have turned down). It’s easier to just acknowledge that you have it thought and it is emotional.