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Homesickness

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Does anyone have an advice re homesickness . Is it better to bring them home to break it up or better to make them brave it out and settle . 

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Oh sorry to hear you are having homesick trouble, it’s heartbreaking when your child is away and upset.

In my experience (I have a child at vocational Ballet school, for a few years now since year 7) it is better to leave them. I always found the more mine came home, or I went down to visit the worse they got, and only really settled when were left. 

So now it’s only home at exeat or half term (which works out as 3 weeks - 2 weekends at school) which is manageable on both sides - wouldn’t want to go any longer. 

Is your child in year 7?

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39 minutes ago, Newbiemum said:

Does anyone have an advice re homesickness . Is it better to bring them home to break it up or better to make them brave it out and settle . 

Personally I think it is very dependent on each child and family. My daughter suffered from homesickness when she went away in Year 7, now in Year 10. She came home nearly every weekend as she said she could cope with the thought of a week but not 2 or 3. Also it is so full on at school she needed the down time at weekends to be able to cope otherwise she could never fully relax. 

Go with your instinct and what your child thinks he/she needs, I am sure if you ask they will be rationalise their thoughts. My DD certainly could and often said despite the homesickness, she still wanted to be at school more but this didn’t stop her feeling bad. 

By the first Christmas homesickness had massively improved for us, I hope it will for you too. Good luck 

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I agree with Waitingmum - a very personal decision. I would try to stay away/not bring your child home, but if this doesn’t work, then do what you need to do. Think about yourself and the rest of the family too - if you are a long way away, up and back over a weekend or lots of weekends away from home is gruelling. Also remember that you will hear from your child in the phone calls how dreadful life is, leaving you upset all day, and they may skip away from the call to get on with the next thing, and be fine! Hope it gets better soon - it does for most. 

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Agree with everything Karen said.  Our half way house was to go and stay at a hotel near DS, and I wish I had done it sooner and more.  What they often need is a good night's sleep (or two) and just to see you.  And you need to see them to know that, as Karen said, sometimes you are the safe harbour, that holds all the worst things, but maybe doesn't  get to hear about  the good things.

 

Just been to see musical DD at the end of her first week at music school.  She is getting there, but she definitely needed some home contact, and just to be able to talk face to face.    And this is child who has done four years at vocational school.  

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My abiding memory of starting high school is homesickness! Believe it or not it was the dog I missed most! I remember calling my parents on the 10p phone on the landing, asking them to come and get me. They did, the following day!

With hindsight, I wish they’d have left me there, I missed out on so much by going home but only saw that years later...😯 Good luck to your DD...xxx

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I have always brought my DD's home whenever they have needed to, which has meant 7 years so far of driving forwards and backwards to WL,Hammond and Tring from the Midlands, most weeks, with the help of the kindest friends along the way.

 

Personally, I think it is important to listen to your own child, not other parents or house parents.  It is your child who 'may' suffer from poor mental health if not given the opportunity to offload.  There is very little opportunity at vocational schools to do this in private and dancers very quickly learn that they are meant to develop a thick skin, and they may, whilst they crumble inside, learning to repress their feelings.... of course they may thrive.  I don't know many young dancers who came through completely unscathed 😒

 

Every child/young person is different and only you can decide what works for your family 😊

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Totally agree angel! Wish we could turn back the clock and first 3 years at one School may have been better than they were! 

Listen to your child and if you need to visit more often then just do it! 

I’m sure the houseparents disapproved of us visiting every Sunday in last school but it had to be done! 

Dd now away at upper school, is much happier and we’ve hardly heard from her these last 2 weeks 😞

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Please listen to your child. If I hadn’t listen to my non DD last weekend I dread to think what would have happened. If they want to and need to come home let them or as others have said go and stay near by. 

Some children adapt and take it all in their stride others simply don’t. As others have said there is no right or wrong way but you know your child and it isn’t for ever. 

Edited by Pointetoes
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My 19yr old DD has struggled despite crazy long busy days! Im not sure other people understood but we only got through last year by meeting up every 2-3 weeks either home or away! The dance course is perfect for her but the location not so much! 

Edited by Clarkd3
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I thnk a lot depends on your location.  When dd begin in year 7 she felt very isolated not being able to board and the long commute took its toll but by Year 11 when we gave her the option of boarding in her final year she chose not to and said she didn't think she'd have been very happy in full boarding.  (She did spend a few weeks most years in boarding due to other commitments or family ill health etc.)  I think its the lack of privacy and sleep that takes its toll the most.  She was a 60-90min car or train journey away.  If she'd been at the other end of the country work and family (her brother) commitments would have meant that we couldn't have brought her home each weekend.  If she had been homesick in that situation it may not have been feasible to continue. 

 

The ideal situation to my mond would be to board in the week and have a wekend day at home but thats not always practical.

 

I now have the complete opposite situation.  Dd has gone away at 16 without so much as a second glance, has chosen not to come home on the exeat weekend and has informed us that she also isn't coming home for her birthday.  We had to send a passive aggresive text in order to get her to call/facetime us!

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Just putting in another vote for listening to your child really carefully, asking 'open' questions (What/How rather than ones they can say yes or no to). Our DD is 14 and we don't even have vocational schools here before age 14. But even living at home the whole time, she has recently started having counselling related to the death from cancer of a family friend who was like an aunty to her. That was 3 years ago — but if they feel they can't talk about something because it's too hard, it gets bottled up and 'leaks out' in other ways that often are more damaging than the original event. Listening without criticism or judgement is just about the most valuable thing we can offer, whether it's long-distance or face to face. And gently prompting them to suggest what options are open to them is a good way to make them feel empowered to deal with difficulties. I wish you well — it's not easy!

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In the short term especially when they've just started boarding the advice from everywhere seems to be to not have too many visits out of exeats to allow them to settle.

 

In the longer term if they haven't settled and you're doing weekly visiting then I guess it becomes part of the overall assessment of pros and cons of them being away - can you afford the extra travel, is it unfair to siblings if they are involved in travel each weekend or miss activities because of it? As a parent can you manage the extra travel with your job and caring commitments? What dance options are available at home? How bad is the homesickness?

 

Personally if my DD had needed weekly visiting then unfortunately she'd have had to leave because the strain on the family would be too much. And in the end the child's well being is more important than vocational school.

 

I hope that doesn't sound unsympathetic @Newbiemum. The first time they go away is very hard for all! Poor you 💙💚💜

Edited by sarahw
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My d/d has been at voc school from yr 7. She suffered so badly from homesickness I really thought we were going give her place up. But she's just gone into yr 9 and all I can say is that she has learnt to cope with it now.

I brought her home most weekends because it was better than having her crying on the phone all wknd and we felt so guilty.. Luckily we live an hour and  half away, but it still takes up a lot of time and petrol. If she stays a wknd now she's bored but not tearful. Even though she loves ballet and enjoys all the school has to offer she still doesn't like boarding.

I always wonder if i've done the right thing and if the stress is worth it ? 🤔

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Have you tried Skype or Facetime? My family does it with a relatives that live in other cities or countries.

 

I hope that your daughter feels better soon.

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My DD is away at vocational school and suffered terribly with homesickness after Christmas.   What we found helped both her and us (it’s so hard being away from them when they are sad and wanting nothing more to hug them and make them feel better) was a “positive book”.  We brought DD a pretty notebook in which we encouraged her to write all the good things that had happened during the day.  Then when she rang in the evening she would read out all that she had written.  We found by reading all of the good stuff it really helped take her mind off being said.  I’m sure it won’t work for everyone but it’s certainly worth a try. I hope she feels better soon xx

Edited by Dlovestodance
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