Anxious parents

Area for current parents, past parents and future parents of Blues or Old Blues.

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TrueBlue
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by TrueBlue » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:14 pm

The problem for me in my time at CH for 9 years from age 9 was change. I pretty much loved being at home and loved being at school (after a couple of miserable years cos 9 is tooooooo young). My mother has subsequently told me that the thing she hated most was packing the trunk a week before we went back (Remember PLA - passenger luggage in advance?) and I recall it as being gut-wrenchingly awful. But half an hour after being back at school it was all over, and my mother still reckons there is a whole post office van stuck in a snow drift full of the letters I swore I wrote but never seemed to arrive. Frankly it must have been terrible for the parents before modern comms.

CHDad
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by CHDad » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:15 am

Yes I think you are correct True Blue, it is the change that is difficult from home to school and vice versa. Even when DS comes home it takes a while for him to adjust! I am pretty certain my son has settled in well now and whilst I am sure he misses us sometimes he is not homesick. I was really pleased last weekend when my son opted for a day with his mates at school on Sunday rather coming out for the afternoon with me! I was not at all disapointed, it was a sign to me that he is truly starting to settle in now. The mobile phone contact is nice, it is mainly lots of short txts from DS to me just letting me know what he is up to.

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by wurzel » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:21 am

You get so much more contact now.

My mum still reminds me that in 7 years she received 1 letter written during the first Sunday letter writing and one on about my GE asking for money. Up until 84 the school had 3 telephone boxes for the boys - 1 behind LHA in the car park by St Edwards Chapel, 1 behind dining hall and 1 down behind Peel. It was a long queue to make a call and woe betide you if a more senior boy thought you were taking too long - you also only really had the time between tea and prep if you wanted to take advantage of cheap rate calling. In 1984 each house was fitted with a pay phone (in LHA & B it was in cupboard under fire escape) which made things better as it was at least a bit warmer than an external phone box with little glass and only 1 phone between 50 rather than 1 between 300.

But I guess we have all come to expect instant 24x7x365 contact with everyone now

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by DavidRawlins » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:54 pm

In Col A 46-53 we had compulsory letter writing on Sundays, so we wrote to our parents. I did not know of any phones available in the school: it would have been of only academic interest since very few boys would have had a phone at home.
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by CHDad » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:30 pm

It's funny how times change, only a few years ago none of us had mobile phones or computers. Now we are all used to constant communication with each other by phone, text or e.mail (and internet forums). However I must say I do enjoy my brief text messages from my son, thank goodness he is enjoying himself otherwise it would be a harrowing experience!

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by kerrensimmonds » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:17 pm

Yes, interesting how times change! When I was at school from the late 1950's to mid 1960's, although we did have one at home, phones were a rarity at school (there was one in the Headmistress's house, and I think our Housemistress had one, but it was not for us to use except in extreme emergencies and only then at her invitation). I believe that I have already posted elsewhere on this Forum my amused amazement to turn up for choir practice on Old Blues Day several years ago, and to see the then current pupil members of the choir roll in casually (we would have marched in!), and then each person removed a mobile phone from their pocket, turned it off, and placed it on the shelf in front of them.
Fifty years after my time at CH, I don't think I could survive without my Blackberry or the internet!
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by englishangel » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:20 am

Totally :offtopic: but yesterday my husband went to Ireland for the day and we left home at 7am to get him to Heathrow (normally 35-40 minutes). At 8.20 I was at Heathrow and texted the office to say I would be late.

At lunchtime I went on BBC News to see there had been a plane crash at Cork airport and texted him, he texted back to say he flew to Shannon.

At 5pm he texted to say that Shannon airport was mayhem as Cork was closed.

Got home and the website said planes were delayed but not by a lot so I left for the airport.

None of which I would have been able to do only 20 years ago.
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by wurzel » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:55 pm

20 years ago you would have phoned office from payphone at heathrow and yur husband would have phoned your home from payphone at shannon - you would have looked on teletext for the flight info.

I remember looking at road traffic info on teletext in early 80's (maybe late 70's) but that is because my uncle fitted a teletext card in our tv (he had built that as well in an old radio cabinet) that he bought in tottenham court rd.

30 years a better date range than 20

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by englishangel » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:02 pm

I deliberately said 20 years ago because I could have checked on Teletext, but not on the move.
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by fra828 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:39 pm

YadaYada wrote:My son texts me in the morning to say good morning and at night to say goodnight. Mostly he also texts, "Have had a fab day". I also speak to him every day on the house phone......all the news of the day from here and there. We have done this since the first 3 week ban. It is driven by him rather than me and I did worry about it during the Second Form as I thought perhaps he should just be getting on with it. But it's just a lovely routine for him and me.

I think this is perhaps unusual......but then I think we are perhaps an unusual family!

Well it is quite ridiculous how cossetted this younger generation is!! Understandable for newbies to be homesick and want to speak to or text parents, but for those that have settled in it is just wrapping them in cotton wool to speak every day and even more than once a day if there is no major reason for it. They might as well be at home!!

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by anniexf » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:28 am

fra828 wrote:
YadaYada wrote:My son texts me in the morning to say good morning and at night to say goodnight. Mostly he also texts, "Have had a fab day". I also speak to him every day on the house phone......all the news of the day from here and there. We have done this since the first 3 week ban. It is driven by him rather than me and I did worry about it during the Second Form as I thought perhaps he should just be getting on with it. But it's just a lovely routine for him and me.

I think this is perhaps unusual......but then I think we are perhaps an unusual family!

Well it is quite ridiculous how cossetted this younger generation is!! Understandable for newbies to be homesick and want to speak to or text parents, but for those that have settled in it is just wrapping them in cotton wool to speak every day and even more than once a day if there is no major reason for it. They might as well be at home!!

Honestly fra828 I do think that's harsh! If only the Great Enlightenment had happened in my day, and there had been "normal" parent-child communication, I believe many of the abuses of power by housemistresses, staff, etc. would never have happened. It was the enforced separations in every sense that permitted - even facilitated - the reign of terror some of us endured from the more sadistic or just casually cruel jailers. In my view it was as a result of our experiences, and those of many other boarders in other schools, that a more humane regime gradually began to be introduced. 3 cheers for the 21st. century CH, I say!

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by DavidRawlins » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:52 pm

I continue to be amazed at how different Hertford and Horsham were. Perhaps some of it is forgetfullnes, or the differences between boys and girls, though I do not think this is the explanation.
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by CHDad » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:44 pm

Well Fra828 I have to say that I have always had a very close relationship with my son and it would sadden me if I did not have frequent contact with him by phone whilst he was at school. I don't believe he is wrapped in cotton wool at all (far from it), he is not balling his eyes out down the phone with homesickness he is just calling me for a chat, although most communication is actually by text. Perhaps you think we should all have a rather austere, Victorian style relationship with our children where "they should be seen and not heard". Well that's definitely not for me!

For us it has made for a very happy start to his time at CH, he is loving school life and yet still maintains some contact with us at home.

Mobile phones, text messages, e.mails and the internet have changed the way we live and one has to move on with the times.
Last edited by CHDad on Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jo
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by Jo » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:26 pm

fra828 wrote:Well it is quite ridiculous how cossetted this younger generation is!! Understandable for newbies to be homesick and want to speak to or text parents, but for those that have settled in it is just wrapping them in cotton wool to speak every day and even more than once a day if there is no major reason for it. They might as well be at home!!
I also think it's a bit harsh. Children to go CH in order to benefit from the enormous educational and other developmental opportunities there, not to NOT be at home. In the past the one was an inevitable consequence of the other, but if improved communications these days enable boarders and their families to get a little more of the best of both worlds, then in my view that can only be a good thing.

I remember the start of every term for about the first four years or so, with the sickening realisation that it would be weeks before I would see or speak to my family again. I have never before or since felt so completely abandoned and unloved. It felt like the bottom had dropped out of my world. I wouldn't wish that feeling on my worst enemy, let alone the CH generation of today.
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by CHDad » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:56 pm

Jo, you are quite correct, it is about finding a good balance between my son being fully immersed in life at CH and yet maintaining that link with his family at home (which incidentally includes his sisters, it is not solely parental contact). I think we have achieved that by a very simple little device, not available years ago, called a mobile phone.

I should also add that the phone is not just for his benefit, I miss him very much and for me it is invaluable - perhaps it is me who is wrapped in cotton wool not him!!!

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