Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

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KenHo
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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by KenHo » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:14 am

My son has now been at CH for two terms and we have found out many things that were never on the original paperwork. Some of them, I suspect, are only valid in certain houses, whereas some of them might apply to everyone. As a minor example, we were told not to bring large bags as there is nowhere to store them (so we bought canvas bags when we already had luggage), only to find that the house has a bag room full of boy's luggage.

I have a few, very general, notes about our particular experience, which probably doesn't apply to everyone, but who knows! CH make a big deal out of the new second formers having a "nursemaid" from the year above, and an older child (BFD) who look after them. If our son is to be believed, he got hardly any help from the nursemaid and has barely spoken to the BFD since the first day. In theory the third formers all have a second former to look after, but in practice they seem to revel in the idea that they are now "in charge" and throw their weight about a bit. My advice to a new parent is to question your child about how much help they are getting in the early weeks, and then do something about it, rather than find out afterwards that there wasn't much.

On a similar topic, the school allegedly give the boys a nursemaid with some experience, but don't do the same for the parents. I would like them to put parents in touch with each other directly, but can see that this might be a minefield. For example, if my son is given a second former to look after then I think it would be a good idea if we also spoke to that boy's parents. Apart from general advice we can also find out if the new boy is actually being looked after properly as well. In the absence of such a system, I am happy to speak to any new parents either on the phone, or via email, as much as anyone wants.

YadaYada
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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by YadaYada » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:32 pm

It definitely varies between houses. My son's BFD has been excellent but I think the novelty of being a nursemaid wears of pretty quickly. The Matrons seem to be a good source of info for both the boys (and girls) and for the parents.

lonelymom
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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by lonelymom » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:21 pm

My eldest daughter's nursemaid was wonderful, my youngest's not quite so, both BFDs have been lovely. KenHo's suggestion of being put in touch with the nursemaid's parents is a good one, and I did suggest this to our houseparent when my eldest went into third form and became a nursemaid herself, but she didn't think it was a good idea (she didn't say why though). I think it's only natural that there will be good and bad nursemaids, and some will enjoy the experience more than others.
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Jo
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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by Jo » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:33 pm

lonelymom wrote:My eldest daughter's nursemaid was wonderful, my youngest's not quite so, both BFDs have been lovely. KenHo's suggestion of being put in touch with the nursemaid's parents is a good one, and I did suggest this to our houseparent when my eldest went into third form and became a nursemaid herself, but she didn't think it was a good idea (she didn't say why though). I think it's only natural that there will be good and bad nursemaids, and some will enjoy the experience more than others.
I haven't got kids, let alone any at the school, but I can see that idea would be potentially fraught with difficulty. If the nursemaid wasn't very supportive then the younger child's parents would be ringing up the nursemaid's parents to "discuss the matter" - ie complain, bypassing the school. It sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. However, I can see how it might be useful for new parents to have "nursemaids" of their own: experienced CH parents who could give them support. But ideally the two sets of parents shouldn't be connected in any other way via their children.
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wickedwitch
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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by wickedwitch » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:12 pm

i think they should just direct them here!! :D
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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by Mid A 15 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:21 pm

Please excuse my ignorance but what is a BFD?

They didn't have them back in the dark ages.
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Mrs C.
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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by Mrs C. » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:28 pm

BFD = BIg Friendly Dep
it used to be BFG until the Grecians moved out ....
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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by englishangel » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:09 pm

At Hertford after 1965 when the houses became all ages the 'school ma' was in Lower Vth (GE) (in 2's anyway) which seemed to work quite well as they had grown up a bit and were past the petty bullying someone who was only a year older might try.

I also agree with Jo.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by dinahcat » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:02 pm

Without being in any way sexist, I hope, the girl nursemaids are probably more adept. My son's nursemaid was a very nice but I don't think too much fussing about with a newbie comes that naturally to a 13 year old boy. My son probably wasnt to bothered about it either. My youngest daughter also had a very nice nursemaid who helped her a lot for about half a term and then she withdrew a bit which was fine.

onewestguncopse is being a naughty cynic as my eldest managed without a mobile, dslite or ipod for four years. She only had a phone when she was 16 and has to use her own money to pay for it.

The rule about no phoning for the first three weeks is hard but in my experience(after three children) is necessary. It is made hard by the puils who say they don't have a phone when they do. I sat in a meeting with all the parents and new girls and the Housemistress on the first day where she asked everyone if their daughter had a phone and they all said no. It was very hard on the ones who were telling the truth when the others pulled their phones out at night and were texting and ringing their parents who were clearly colluding with this.
My son shared a room with someone whose mother rang him at 11 every night which woke my son up. Of course when I found out, I told the Houseparent who dealt with it but again, of course, the boy was none too pleased with my son. Not that he cared, but parents are the ones with the responsibility for this and it is really unhelpful if they won't obey the rules which are there for a good reason. The no contact rule is there ,as in the school's view in the light of experience, it is better for the children this way not because the school wants to be cruel.
My son is now the Phone Collector in his house and is wise to those who hand in a 'fake ' phone, say their mum is is Hong Kong and has to phone at 7 am or the strange but true 'I am going to a rubgy match at 7 am so I have to keep my phone over night'...

I agree with the coat hanger advice -get some. If you forget anything don't worry as the Saintly Matrons will help you. I forgot my youngest's pillows. :oops: Matron lent her some . Don't panic as there is always a way to borrow something for three weeks until Leave Weekend.

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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by ailurophile » Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:23 pm

KenHo wrote
On a similar topic, the school allegedly give the boys a nursemaid with some experience, but don't do the same for the parents. I would like them to put parents in touch with each other directly, but can see that this might be a minefield.
When my DS was first offered a place at CH, a friend of mine put me in touch with one of her neighbours, whose son was already at the school. We invited the lad and his mum to come over for tea, and were able to ask them loads of questions - a very helpful exercise, especially for me!!

Much later - I think DS must have been in his third year - I discovered quite by chance that someone else working in my company (different department, but sitting only a few yards from my desk) has two children at CH. We have since become good friends, and have both found that the opportunity to share experiences and information (not to mention the occasional lift) has been very valuable.

Perhaps CH could ask parents whether they would be willing for new parents in their area to be given their e-mail/ phone number. Like KenHo, I know that I would be more than happy to chat with any new parents and to answer any questions they might have about what having your child at CH is like from the 'home front'. In my experience this type of contact can be valuable to both parties, and is not at all a minefield!!

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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by J.R. » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:32 pm

I can't really comment on Nursemaids, as the gap between 1958 and now is around half a century.

My experience in Prep B in 1958, was that the appointed Nursemaids were doing the 'job' because they were ordered to do so, and then took great pleasure in ensuring the maximum amount of teasing of their 'squits' from all the other older house members.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by YadaYada » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:51 pm

Can I suggest that if parents want to get in contact with other parents in the boarding house, they ask the house master/mistress to pass on their number and a message to the other parents? Then people can get in touch if they want. This only works for parents in the same boarding house. It happened in 'our' house recently when the parent of another boy wanted to speak to me about something. She used the house master as the intermediary and I got in touch with her.

I think being put in touch with the nursemaids parents is not on. It's not really fair on anyone involved.

The first 3 weeks were hell.....for me, more than him and I really appreciated having this forum. Perhaps the very least CH can do is to point new parents in the direction of the Official forum.

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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by MrsAverage » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:29 pm

I agree the first 3 weeks are hell for the parents (mums more than dads of course) but it works. I can't believe there are parents who would provide secret phones and undermine the school and from day one too. If they are that unsure why they heck did they accept the place? I can't imagine leaving my child with someone I don't trust so how can they?
As we say to ours who now towers over me and is looking to Uni, because he coped with the the first 3 weeks at only 11 he now knows he can cope with anything anywhere.

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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by wickedwitch » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:07 pm

it's getting quite difficult to post on here as my daughter now follows it on a daily basis!

I think she will be homesick. I dont think phoning me would be in any way helpful to her and i dont think she needs a mobile for the first month or so. She knows we love her and care about her and she knows that the staff at CH will look after her, as well as her cousin and hopefully some of the other girls.
I think she is worried about looking silly if she cries or sleepwalks. I hope that the posts on here will be reassuring to her that lots of children cry and miss home in their first few weeks. There will certainly be a few tears shed here.

A large pack of paperwork/forms arrived here yesterday so her leaving seems a little closer now. :(
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Re: Helpful Tips for New Parents please!!!

Post by YadaYada » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:11 am

My son has slept walked at CH! Has only ever did it once before when he was about 5 years old so he was a bit shocked by it! But he spoke to Matron about it and she reassured him and also told him what to do if he woke up and he was either locked out of his corridor or even locked out of the house. It hasn't happened since.

Your daughter should not worry about going to see either the House Mistress or the Matrons as they are there to help. I know my son often feels that he shouldn't bother them as they are busy but he always feels 100% better once he has seen them.

Good luck! Hope you are ready for the name taping! Start early! Especially on the socks!

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