Anxious parents

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fra828
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by fra828 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:49 pm

I apologize if I upset people but I was really meaning that daily or twice daily phone/text contact is ott, but that's just my opinion. I too re-live those awful Hertford times of no contact with home for weeks on end apart from letters and I am not some hard-hearted Victorian mum with 'children should be seen and not heard' attitude. I have a very close, loving relationship with my daughter. I do want to encourage her independence so there wasn't daily contact when she was away on school-trips or wherever, but despite the Hertford experience , that's the way I believe is best, even if it does sound old-fashioned to a lot of people.

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by CHDad » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:08 pm

Apology accepted, I understand what you mean.

I guess it's a fine balance and it will be different for each child. I may be wrong but I think we have got it about right for us. My son is growing in confidence and is definitely becoming more independent.

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by sejintenej » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:29 pm

We are considering two totally different eras. In David and my times the telephone was an expensive rarity with the danger that the exchange girls were listening in for the gossip. Telegrams were for terrible news or 100th bitrthdays and letters were fairly effective at getting through. As David says, we had to write home once per week on Sunday afternoons commencing at 4.30pm. No second letter then or at any other time in the week. That was the norm - not just in CH but generally in the country. A slight problem at home; to post a letter cost (from memory) 2d but to get to the letterbox and back (locals got discount rates) cost 6d each way. (1p = 2.4d and was a lot of money in those days)
There was just one telephone call in the first 21 years of my life which had any bearing on me. It was from her employer to Kit Aitken to say mother #2 had died and did I wish to leave school in which case at what time?

Outside the metropolii (?greek pluralisation) communities were often self supporting and people might not know what happened elsewhere. In the village I was brought up in from age 5 there was just one local who had been further than Newton Abbott market - because he was a stoker in WWI. I was the second to escape and that year the first pupil ever from that school passed 11+. Fat lot of good - she couldn't get to the next school in any case because there was no transport. For the younger reader one bought a train ticket from the booking office but you had to give 24 to 48 hours notice to get your name in the book. This was because the local nob had to give permission for the person to leave; Kingsbridge Station was still insisting on the notice in 1953. No permission, no travel. There was no call to write because nobody knew anyone that they cpouldn't sdee after a 20 minute walk (and I suspect most of the villagers were illiterate anyway, as were most of those I wennt to school with. Nobody there could conceptualise what I saw in Sussex.
To give an idea of how frequently letters were exchanged, when I worked in Africa I would exchange one letter at Christmas with UK acquaintances (they took up to 4 weeks to arrive) and towards the end a few with a girlfriend who was booking a 3 months working holiday for me.

Communication was useful only whan you wanted something, be polite or to say thanks. We learned to be all self-supporting and as Peter said in his film, we didn't allow emotion to raise its head. You were in a situation so you dealt with it as best you could. Period.

These days kids are far more tied to their parent's apronstrings. Children don't have to (and Social services try to prevent them having to) make serious decisions but simply rely on Mum or papa. Hence the need for communications; it is just another lifestyle.

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by kerrensimmonds » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:36 pm

Well said, David. We are from a different generation than the current CH children, which is now in an era of totally different technology. Goodness. I feel OLD!
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by anniexf » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:13 pm

sejintenej wrote:
These days kids are far more tied to their parent's apronstrings. Children don't have to (and Social services try to prevent them having to) make serious decisions but simply rely on Mum or papa. Hence the need for communications; it is just another lifestyle.
Heavens David, what a scathing, over-generalised assessment of today's kids - my 11 year-old grandson wouldn't recognise himself in your analysis! Apart from camping trips and 2-hour night treks in sub-zero temperatures - both incommunicado - he does indoor wall-climbing, fencing, swimming, snorkelling, sailing and cycling, commutes 8 miles a day to school, and wasn't alloweda mobile phone until he started secondary school last September. Even then it was months before he used up the first £10. Tied to his mum's apron-strings? No way, and none of his mates either!

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by lonelymom » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:29 pm

sejintenej wrote:These days kids are far more tied to their parent's apronstrings. Children don't have to (and Social services try to prevent them having to) make serious decisions but simply rely on Mum or papa. Hence the need for communications; it is just another lifestyle.
I think it could well be that today's kids are quite the opposite of how you describe them, which is WHY they rely on mobiles more. They are far more likely to go on day trips with groups of teenage friends, stay over at friends' houses (where a planned one night visit often turns into three or four), and actually plan activities on the spur of the moment because they can, because all they have to do is use their mobile phone to contact parents/friends/check train times etc. What sort of 'serious decisions' did you have to make that today's children wouldn't have to make?
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by Jo » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:46 pm

I'm not backtracking, but I am surprised at how much parents are involved in older kids' decisions these days, from what I can tell from friends my own age with teenagers. I guess it was partly through being away from home, but I didn't consult my parents at all about my university choices or application forms for instance. I did all the research myself, talked to people, thought about what I wanted, chose my own shortlist, took myself to interviews by train in various parts of the country, and made my own eventual final choice. I don't remember involving my parents in my O or A level choices either. I lived in Hall for the first two years at uni, but for my final year my friends and I found our own flat. We'd have been mortified if our parents had got involved. :shock:

However, my friends these days seem to be full of sending away for prospectuses, doing a lot of the research themselves, ferrying their offspring around to universities, and generally expecting to be heavily involved. When I asked a colleague a few years ago why her daughter wasn't doing her own research and sending off for her own prospectuses, she was quite surprised and said she was only trying to help. She came back to me a few days later and said she'd been thinking about what I'd said, and she couldn't believe she was the only parent doing so much so she'd asked around other parents and found they were all doing the same thing.

Is this really normal? Do parents really take on a lot of the responsibility themselves these days? If so, how is that helping youngsters make their own decisions?
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by sejintenej » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:48 am

Anniexf and Lonelymom; although I have PMed each of you I think you can see from the replies that this seems to be a generational thing in that present parents feel compelled to get involved and not allow their offspring to make their own decisions.
Hence the need for better communications OR it may be that better communications allow parents to take more control over their offspring. Personally I think that we took just a few too many chances when I was young but present youngsters often are not allowed to take enough.

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by lonelymom » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:36 am

Maybe parents are just nosier now? :)

I think my girls make more of their own decisions than their friends who aren't at CH. They are certainly more mature than their peers who go to local schools. I'm sure some of my friends think I'm a bad parent for letting my 15 year old get the train to London alone to meet up with friends (during the day, definitely not when it's late and dark). I don't have a problem with her doing that... her dad does though, we have to bend the truth slightly every time she goes :shock:
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by lonelymom » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:51 am

Okay, I've read David's pm. He had a very interesting childhood full of adventure and fun.... and I accept his point, there is NO WAY I'd let my daughters do half of those things, in fact, I don't think I'd do half of those things! :lol:
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by englishangel » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:09 am

I think somewhere in the middle is best. In the the 'old' days, universities were mainly in large towns with good transport links etc. One of my daughter's interviews was at a 'new' university in the wilds of Lancashire and it would have taken her two days to get there and back by public transport, it took us an overnight stay, partly because it was when the south of England was snowbound 4 years ago. Another one was in Canterbury and I wasn't going to pass up the chance of visiting there. She also went with a couple of friends when they went for an Open Day at Aston. She did all her own research.

I think it's much more difficult nowadays to decide exactly what you want to do as many courses take a different slant on things. My son wanted to do "War Studies" and there are 5 places which offer exactly this course, plus one which does "Peace Studies". On deeper examination three of the courses do it from a military history slant (which he wanted) and the other two did it from a political slant (which he didn't). He got offers from the three history ones. Then he had to pick his first year modules before he even started. He is a mature student and knew exactly what he wanted to do but I can see this would be very difficult for an 18 year old without some counselling from an adult, and what schools have time to do that?

Also as students in the 70's we had the highest grant amount ever, and there were always plenty of holiday jobs to top it up, you could even sign on the dole in the summer.
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by Angela Woodford » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:03 am

All this is very interesting.

I think it's absolutely brilliant that pupils today can communicate with home. Ann has expressed it so well... if parents had been aware of half of the daily difficulties and traumas of our enclosed Hertford world, things might have been changed.

However - and this might be a bit of a quirky opinion - much as I resented and feared our Hertford life, which put an end to all the parental hopes invested in me - there was also a minute flicker of relief in getting away from the tensions at home. Not only was there the relentless evangelical pressure, but a ongoing situation in that my parents' marriage was very tricky - my father had been devotedly in love with the woman who became my godmother. My mother spent a tortured life coping with this - but then, the Church was everything to all three of them. My personal loyalties were torn. So, in a dreadful way, it was a relief to get away from them, and receive a letter from each once a week...

(Goodness, it reminds me - the amazement of no weeping and wailing over the mini-skirt, pop music and the wrath of the Lord! No pressure to give my heart to Jesus! The Royal , Religious and Ancient Foundation was for me... secular!)

I'm just thinking that there may be CH pupils for whom home life isn't so brilliant, and seeing their peers happily texting and phoning home daily to a loving set-up may be a bit difficult?
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by Mid A 15 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:15 pm

Jo wrote:I'm not backtracking, but I am surprised at how much parents are involved in older kids' decisions these days, from what I can tell from friends my own age with teenagers. I guess it was partly through being away from home, but I didn't consult my parents at all about my university choices or application forms for instance. I did all the research myself, talked to people, thought about what I wanted, chose my own shortlist, took myself to interviews by train in various parts of the country, and made my own eventual final choice. I don't remember involving my parents in my O or A level choices either. I lived in Hall for the first two years at uni, but for my final year my friends and I found our own flat. We'd have been mortified if our parents had got involved. :shock:

However, my friends these days seem to be full of sending away for prospectuses, doing a lot of the research themselves, ferrying their offspring around to universities, and generally expecting to be heavily involved. When I asked a colleague a few years ago why her daughter wasn't doing her own research and sending off for her own prospectuses, she was quite surprised and said she was only trying to help. She came back to me a few days later and said she'd been thinking about what I'd said, and she couldn't believe she was the only parent doing so much so she'd asked around other parents and found they were all doing the same thing.

Is this really normal? Do parents really take on a lot of the responsibility themselves these days? If so, how is that helping youngsters make their own decisions?
A lot more choices and pitfalls today than when we were young Jo.

That essentially is why parents feel the need to get involved my opinion.

I know now, with the benefit of life experience, that I could have made some better choices with help and I certainly don't (didn't) want my children to make some of the mistakes I made if they can (could) be avoided with a bit of parental intervention.
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Re: Anxious parents

Post by sejintenej » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:32 pm

Mid A 15 wrote: I know now, with the benefit of life experience, that I could have made some better choices with help and I certainly don't (didn't) want my children to make some of the mistakes I made if they can (could) be avoided with a bit of parental intervention.
To quote some American "hindsight is 20:20 vision". You are literate and have "been around"but spare a thought for those pupils whose parents are almost illiterate, without access to contacts etc. or even those pupils with no parents and effectively no guardians. To whom do they go for that guidance? - certainly not the school in my day.

About 2 years ago I came across a book and consequential sensible discussion group which would have made a massive difference to my life - to bad that my daughter considers that it is important to get any sort of degree and only then decide what to do by way of employment and after that to consider targets in life and everything else that goes to make up a lifetime's lifestyle.

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Re: Anxious parents

Post by Lauradee » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:01 am

Hello everyone, first time on the website. My son just got a letter to say that he hadnt been accepted to CH But he was to be placed on the reserve list. I so desperately want him to go to CH does anyone know what the chances are of getting a place from the reserve list. They did not say where on this list he was??? Any advice would be appreciated :(

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