Parent advice, especially plebe parents

<p>I copied this from a book written by a USMMA mother , who had two sons graduate from the academy. Book title: "What do you mean-He doesn't have Telephone privileges??? This is his Mother"</p>

<p>Some of you may already be familiar with the following, the advice applies to all academy parents, especially of plebes.......</p>

<p>"Advice from U.S. Service Academy Parents Organization
The following was shared by the U.S. Service Academies Parents Organization of Northern Nevada (USSAPONN) via their newsletter of October 1995. The advice was adapted from a letter sent to U.S. Military Academy Parents from Brig. Gen. Freddy E. McFarren.</p>


<p>BE A GOOD LISTENER. Just having a chance to vent is .a big help for your new plebe.</p>

<p>BE POSITIVE AND UNDERSTANDING. Your son or daughter is in a tough, demanding environment. Your positive attitude will help him or her to be positive as well.</p>

<p>BE SUPPORTIVE, without conditions attached.</p>

<p>UNDERSTAND that venting is healthy for your new plebe, and perhaps even necessary. Most times your new plebe will feel much better after talking with you -- you, however, may feel worse. Remember that you are likely hearing only the worst and that your new plebe relies on you to offer a positive view
of his/her ability and accomplishments.</p>

<p>ENCOURAGE analytical thinking of your plebe by eliciting a plan of action relating to their concerns.</p>

<p>Don't panic if your new plebe mentions resigning. Help him or her to consider the options in a thoughtful manner.</p>

<p>Please keep the letters coming from family and friends -- mindful that your new plebe probably does not have time to respond -- and that when that phone call comes, please provide lots of love and support.
Being a supportive parent can be a stressful and emotional experience. It is recommended that you contact your local Parents Club for support and encouragement.</p>

<p>'There are no secrets to success; don’t waste time looking for them…Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work and persistence.
You must be ready for opportunity when it comes.'
General Colin Powell, quoted in the Washington Post, 15 January 1989"</p>

<p>great advice ~ thanks for sharing Oregon mom! Is the book still available in print, and if so, any suggestions where to locate? sounds like something worth reading...thanks again for sharing!</p>

<p>The author is Sylvia Hartzell, I do not know if it is still in print.</p>

<p>However, you can download it as a pdf file: </p>

<p>Click here: <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>prayerful mom: thanks SO MUCH for the link!</p>

<p>When our son was a plebe we would send a little e-mail note every night right before we went to bed so that our son would have a message from home in the morning. It was not a long message, but was of the "We love you! We know you can do this! Have a great day!" variety. Don't know if it helped, but I know I missed a couple of times and heard about it! ;-)</p>

<p>Great idea momof1. I think I'll start that tonight. My son says that most of the kids are getting what he called, "Plebe Plague", him included. He says ya wake up and ya just don't feel too well. Its the Blahs having just come from that huge rush of getting Indoc over I'm sure. When they get all settled in and get a routine going, I guess they finally notice how worn down they truly are. The average sleep is now about 4 hours a night I'm told. I'd be napping in class & get myself killed I'm afraid.....</p>

<p>Why so little sleep?
Lights out at 10 and up at 6. Reform is this week, and then they will settle in to a new routine. No naps during the day, sleeping only between 10 and 6, and sleeping in on Sunday morning. Your kids will be fine.</p>

<p>Might want to send their Chem notes from High School, however. The course is a killer for most.

<p>So little sleep ... for one, most all were up until 2AM on a Fri. preparing for an inspection; secondly, on Saturdays at 11:45PM the plebe candidates are awakened to dress in the uniform of the day, then to gather outside for an accountability check, other nights they are awakened to go down to the waterfront and shout out the honor code or something of that nature.</p>

<p>They can close their doors at 10PM; however, many still have work to do after they've completed homework and studying...i.e.: polishing shoes, pressing their uniform, etc.</p>

<p>So between their studies, sports, PT, class prep, room and barracks cleaning...yes, most if not all the plebes are tired.</p>

<p>Actually, I would guess that the upperclassmen at USMMA would be exhausted as well since they are up too for these late night (or I should say early AM) gatherings!</p>

<p>I suppose all of this is done to toughen them up and prepare them for the long hours and interrupted sleep they will have at sea or while active duty in the military. Obviously, compared to what our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are experiencing, academy life seems like a walk in the park.</p>

<p>Nonetheless, I know my son is looking forward to his first leave so that he can sleep and eat!</p>

<p>Candidatemom - Prayerfulmom is so right. At USMMA, where our kids are, the schedule is supposed to be from 8 to 11pm, they are at their desks studying then lights out. Even though its written in black & white, its not the case. In addition to what Prayerfulmom said, the kids have to stand watches on occasion. Mine was assigned a four hour 3am fire watch. He said that was rough with being up at 2:45, reporting for his watch, then attending classes the next day. There will be no "routine" for the Plebes. They are awakened at any time to do any number of things. Recently, they were required to do a duty for an upper classman Ring Dance ceremony and did not complete it until 11 pm on a thursday and mine said he then had three hours of homework after that. Guess he did it in the dark with a penlight between his teeth. LOL They have so many duties during the day that they aren't in their rooms studying, so evening is the only time they have. Then the powers that be decide that they need to rattle their cages by waking them or keeping them up with tasks. Its keeping them all on edge to be sure. As to the Chemistry, you are so right. My son says its his hardest class. The upperclassmen give the Plebes all of their old notes to study. They are called "ponies". I thought that was great. One good thing though. They are allowed to sleep in on Sunday mornings! ;)</p>

<p>Candidatemom wrote, "Lights out at 10 and up at 6. Reform is this week, and then they will settle in to a new routine. No naps during the day, sleeping only between 10 and 6, and sleeping in on Sunday morning."</p>

<p>I can't speak about Annapolis, but my sons say that at West Point virtually no one actually shut down studying at taps. The only possible exceptions were cadets who avoided all extracurricular activities. Corps squad athletes (more the 25% of men and 33% of women) often practiced until special dinners laid on for them at 1915, and did not reach their rooms to start studying until 2000. They had no other time for homework and class preparation during the day. Three-and-a-half hours of study per night just won't cut it under West Point's Thayer Method, which requires every cadet to present or otherwise actively participate in every class, every day. Sometimes, when they were particularly exhausted from practice, my sons would go to sleep at 2000 and get up at 0200 to get in five hours work. Cadets who fear they will fall asleep in class typically request permission to stand ... as most faculty are alumni, they understand. My sons estimate that they averaged less than six-and-a-half hours of sleep per night for four years.</p>

<p>The USMA administration recognizes that isn't really very healthy, but they don't know what to drop from the program to free more time. They tried to implement an enforced lights out on all rooms a half hour after taps. Didn't work ... cadets would rather risk walking tours on the area than being unprepared for class.</p>

<p>Just tried to talk to my Plebe online. These little conversations are real fun. ;) I ask a question like 'how were classes today' and he replies with "Yep" I signed off because he very shortly told me he had to go. He was off to polish floors at 9:30 pm. They have a huge inspection coming up I understand. Being able to say hello online is great and all but then I feel guilty because its five minutes that he could have been doing something he needs to do. I really must learn to control myself better. LOL </p>

<p>Laxdad, that was a great story on asking permission to stand up. I'll put that one out to my kid. It might help shake off SHS (sleepy head syndrome). Many thanks! I see it this way... If it worked for WP guys, it'll sure work for USMMA guys! LOL</p>