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Keeping in touch


Actsingdance
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Dd has 1 and a half days left at her junior school and our thoughts are turning to keeping in touch with her old school friends. One is moving away from the area and going to a new school, the others are going on to the senior school which juniors feeds into.

 

In your experience do your children keep in touch with their old friends when they go off to vocational school. A girl we know who went off to RBS a few years ago kept in touch via Facebook but I really don't want to allow dd to have Facebook.

 

Should I relent because if the circumstances. Should I suggest old fashioned writing, texting or will they just grow apart and make new friends at school ?

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We are hoping to manage with texts/ messages and FaceTime /Skype . Not happy about Facebook as it opens the floodgates with the potential for complete strangers to have access to pictures of DS if he should be careless with security setting ????

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Fortunately most of my dd's friends went to her Senior School, but by Year 6 she had a cheap mobile, so kept in touch with other friends by text.

 

We didn't let her have Facebook until her 13th birthday but even then it was rationed and with strict guidelines. I check both our privacy settings regularly and she has to be "friends" with DH and I but tbh she rarely has time to go on it anyway.

 

Texting worked fine until she was old enough to have Facebook.

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I kept in touch with parents of her close friends and we arrange get togethers each holiday which have become a real highlight. Ipods are useful as they can face-time and i-message (without the cost of texts if you are pay as you go!) 

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My children went different routes from their very small primary school - one to WL, one to a small private girls school (on a very good bursary!!) and one to,the local comprehensive where most went from their school. None of them have stayed friends with any of their primary school friends! Didn't change immediately, but it wasn't long until they'd made new, very good friends, so they just "moved on" I suppose. (They are still friendly with some of the old ones, but not friends, if you get my meaning.)

 

We're lucky (for my eldest) that they're all so close in age (and "close" to eachother) as it would've been hard for him during the holidays, but when he came home from school it was family time I suppose, his friends were at school. During the summer holidays he'd sometimes visit school friends (or they'd come here) but not much.

 

FB wasn't big then but I wouldn't have let them have it before 13 (I'm a bit of a stickler for "rules") but he had a mobile and his text bills got quite high for a while!

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My two closest friends are ones I met on my first day in primary school and my first day in secondary school but apart from one girl I remet through Facebook I am not in touch at all with anyone I met at school.

 

I went to an all girls grammar school so don't really remember any of the boys.  My previous dentist and I went to the same junior school but didn't remember each other at all - although our Mums did!

 

Being involved in ballet either as a dancer or a watcher (like me) is a great way of making friends!

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Dd says that some of her friends haven't got FaceTime. Geographically everyone lives scattered over the area so there is very little socialising out of school hours or activities

 

I do wonder (and JulieWs experience seems to bear this out) if they won't just grow apart. They are all off to academically selective private schools (one on a scholarship) and dd is off to vocational. Totally different experiences. They keep telling her they don't understand why she is leaving them. They can't understand it's her passion in life.

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I wouldn't think about it to much. If they want to stay in touch they will work things out for themselves with whatever methods they have available. I strongly believe that those friendships that are strong enough will survive somehow. My eldest dd went to vocational 6th form but four years later is still in touch with friends from primary school. Contact is erratic but they do meet up if they happen to be in the same place at the same time and I believe these friendships will probably be lifelong. Middle dd went to different 6th form to all her primary/secondary school peers and although they still all live in the same town she has not remained in contact with any of them and has a complete new circle of friends now but whether she remains in the autumn when they all head off to Uni who know!

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I was wondering about this too. Lots of dds friends already have facebook, many with little or no security settings activated, which concerns me greatly, especially with info aboit which school, dance schools, afterschool clubs etc they go to so easily available along with photos. This has me wondering about two courses of action... a) just say no or B) set up an account myself with all the security available and guide my dd in getting used to appropriate use. As yet I am undecided and she hasnt asked for an account but I know the time is near when she will realise that alot of friends have it. For now we have started with a skype account which I am.oversewing but I do fewl a little bit like the ogre as.many of her friends from JAs, school and other dance lessons as.well as her'buddy' from her new.school.all use f/book... modern parenting dilema 

Edited by along for the ride mum
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Both my DD's went away to vocational school at 11 and both maintained friendships at home. The children all wanted to keep in touch, but I always have encouraged them to stay intouch too. Home friends are special friends. I have also stayed in touch with the parents and we do have Mums nights out...more so now than when they were at primary school! Some have written, some by text, others by facebook.

 

Both my girls have said how other children at vocational school have kept in touch with friends at home. We were lucky that we live in a village with a local school and dance school so all went hand in hand.

 

Do encourage your DD to keep in touch, by what ever method, primary school friends are formative and should be valued.

 

Good luck with your journey!

 

NL x

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I was wondering about this too. Lots of dds friends already have facebook, many with little or no security settings activated, which concerns me greatly, especially with info aboit which school, dance schools, afterschool clubs etc they go to so easily available along with photos. This has me wondering about two courses of action... a) just say no or B) set up an account myself with all the security available and guide my dd in getting used to appropriate use. As yet I am undecided and she hasnt asked for an account but I know the time is near when she will realise that alot of friends have it. For now we have started with a skype account which I am.oversewing but I do fewl a little bit like the ogre as.many of her friends from JAs, school and other dance lessons as.well as her'buddy' from her new.school.all use f/book... modern parenting dilema

 

It is difficult but Facebook rules state that you should be 13 or over before you have an account. I wasn't prepared to allow or encourage my dd to break rules so she always knew right from the word go that she wouldn't be allowed it before. Harsh maybe but we explained our reasons and after a while she stopped asking.

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Hi my dd is off to school in sept, not sure she will stay in touch with her school friends as they have started been nasty to her about going off to ballet school one of the comments was that she "is stuck up". But on the other hand her dancing friends she will def keep in touch with :)

 

We decided to set her a Facebook account up to help with. We did it ourselfs so all the security was set up and she has to be "friends" with me her dad and other family members so we can see what is happening.

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I truly believe that in my DD's case (and I say this after having done A LOT of monitoring! ) that she would have been disadvantaged if we hadn't allowed her to have FB. In her case her primary school and both the vocational schools she has attended have communicated so much through it.

 

I did allow her to have it when she went away for Year 7 but with one proviso. I absolutely had to have her login details so that I could log in as her. This means that I saw absolutely everything that she could. This allowed me to 'unfriend' a couple of older students who I felt were saying inappropriate things.

 

She's older now of course!

 

I do understand why you would be reticent about allowing a FB account and I would imagine it's not right for everyone.

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We too agreed on monitored fb at the start of yr 7 to help keep in touch. I monitor regularly and I and my 18 year old daughter have stopped some conversations in the early days. Dd is much wiser now and so busy that fb is infrequently used. However, it is great to be able to share her life via pictures and comments that I wouldn't otherwise see.

Dd has stayed closer to dance school friends who were generally a little older, rather than primary school ones- maybebecause they have scattered to a range of secondary schools, and maybe because she goes back to the dance school when home.

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The strange thing is that I have not kept in touch with anyone I trained together with at vocational school, but I have kept in touch with friends from the performing arts day school, that I attended before that, and I still feel really close to them when we meet up every so often.  Facebook has enabled us to "find" several more allumni, who weren't in touch before and I am really excited about meeting up with a few whom I have not been in contact with for 50 years!   I think that really what it boils down to is this - real friends will find a way to keep in touch and if someone is important to your daughter, she will do so.  I really prefer e-mail to FB for communicating as I prefer its privacy.  Could you perhaps let her have a gmail account or something?

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Thats exactly what iI felt <3 ballet. Id rather do it.here and know that all the security is set up and we have a degree of control , rather than send her off to school and have someone there talk her into it without our input. Although that said, i am probably doing her a disservice as im sure if i told her before she left that i would not allow it, she would respect my decision. However, i do already feel.as though she is missing out a bit as some of her dancing friends are in constant contact with their ''buddies from vocational school via facebook. That said, I too am a bit of a stickler for.rules so.it doesn't come easy. 

Edited by along for the ride mum
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To be honest mimi'smom they don't have much time to access FB anyway during the week at vocational school as they are so busy. Although itn may be blocked via the Internet, phones can still access FB unless you restrict, but that's not easy to do. As suggested here with young ones make sure you have their user name and password and monitor. I have occasionally 'replied' to inappropriate posts

to the most surprising contibutors saying " this is xx Mum, I am deleting your post and telling your Mum what you have posted'though both of my DD's have been mortified it did prevent inappropriate traffic, though probably didn't create good ratings for their street cred, but with young children ibis sometimes necessary!

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Thanks for that NL - we don't allow our dd onto the internet on her phone as it isn't part of her package so hadn't realised that loophole! You are absolutely right they are too busy - sometimes it hard enough to find time for that phone call home! 

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Dd won't be boarding and won't be allowed to take her phone into school (the boarders can have them at the boarding house but they are not allowed in school) so it should be easier to monitor.

 

Her dance school friends are also her school friends (it's round the corner from the junior & senior school) but she doesn't really socialise much out of school/dance because of where we live, our work and of course the time spent dancing.

 

She has just a very small group if close friends, they are not part of the dance group and shed like to keep in touch.

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If your dd wants to keep in touch then she will find a way to do this.

 

This situation is impossible to predict because it depends on the individual children.

 

My dd didn't go to vocational school but went to a grammar school in a different town in year 7, all her friends went to the local comprehensive school. She met new people and made new friends, her interests changed and gradually she had less in common with those original friends. Her dance friends at her CAT scheme have equal importance to her as her school friends because of their love of dance and shared experiences but again none of these went to primary school with her.

 

I have no close friends from my school days ( either primary or senior school). The people who I class as my lifelong friends are those I met at university, from the jobs I have had and the people I have met in my adult life. I feel this is because I have lived in many different towns, cities and countries.

 

However, as others have said they are still best of friends with the people they met at primary school.

 

We all develop and move on, sometimes those friends move with us, sometimes they don't. It doesn't mean we don't appreciate the people we have met and the friendships we have had in the past. Some are sustainable, others are not.

 

Of course Facebook and mobile phones weren't available when I was young and used responsibly they can facilitate positive communication and maintain friendships.

 

I wish your dd the very best of luck for the next stage in her life. :-)

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Children grow out of friendships, even just moving from junior to secondary school and finding themselves in new classes and making new friends.  My experience is that those that want to keep in touch, will but friendship is a two way process.  My DDs find that dance friends remain but school friends vary.  My DS is at university and when home he has a small group of friends that get together - friends from age 10/11 upwards mostly.  DD back from vocational school finds that her 3 closest friends make the time to see her but other friends are too busy in their lives and have moved on.  They still message and chat on facebook but do not actually meet up in person.  With regards to facebook, all of mine had to wait until they were 13 and then we set the accounts up with them and I had login and passwords for at least the first year aswell as being 'friends'. My children knew I would not be posting or reading personal messages on their accounts, just scanning for unsuitable content.  They also had strict instructions to only accept friend requests from people they knew in person.  Sounds basic but there was a warning issued at a local middle school about a person claiming to be a 13 year old student of the school and several children accepted 'her' friendship request believing her to be in the year or two above them. 

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I would say that even if not going to vocational school, friendships change hugely in Year 7 and up.  I would largely echo what others have said in that it depends on the child and really it's up to them to choose which friendships to maintain.

 

I totally agree about Facebook, we don't like it either.  Does your dd have a mobile and her friends' numbers?  If so, I would leave it at that but remember even if you nag her to keep in touch with friends, she might or might not!

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Oh, and I forgot to add that until Year 9 dd had a cheap pink PAYG mobile without internet access - not tempting to thieves, cheaply replaced if lost, and being PAYG she couldn't run up huge bills!

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Hi my dd is going away to school in sept a,she is 11 and would love Facebook . I have an account to keep in touch with my brother who resides in the states as its cheaper to message me directly from there. I have just set up an account for my oldest daughter who is 13 as it seems all her friends have an account., but I don't like Facebook and think its dreadful how some people live out there every moment detailing it on their accounts. I'm undecided as to what to do about dd ,as she has some really good friends and it would be a quick way for them to keep in touch. If in the event we do set it up I like the idea of having her passwords so we can edit the account from home.i suppose it's also a good way of getting an insight into her world while she is away and feeling part of her day ( if she has time to put something on and if we don't hear from her that day ) hmmmm still thinking ........ X

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DS went away at the end of year 9 so admittedly a bit older. He has stayed in touch with a goodly portion of his home friends. I would hugely encourage supporting this as otherwise school holidays can be a desert of social isolation. Being a boy lots of his contact with his best mate is via online gaming (minecraft for those who want to know!). His best friend's Mum has told me she hears him yakking away to DS whilst online at totally unsuitable hours of the night but generally lets him carry on as the friendship is so important to both of them....DS does also have FB but he has me as a friend so knows that I check it and even post comments (he doesn't mind at all) and this has never been an issue between us. But to be honest skype is his/our lifeline (of course we have distance and timezones to contend with)and particularly allows him not only to stay in touch with home friends whilst at school but also the other way round (a few weeks ago he was in a 3 way skype call with one friend in Brazil and one in Japan whilst sitting in our back garden!). I have said before I do believe the inventor of skype deserves a Nobel prize....

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I love sky ping as an adult as its really just like having a conversation. I mostly do messaging Skype and was also in a three way chat the other day between myself a friend in France and another in Japan!! It was great fun.

I think Skype is much better than Facebook if you want to chat privately and is more immediate and it's free too.

 

Don't know whether there is a way for parents to check up on who the Skype friends are etc. you wouldn't be able to intercept a private conversation but if you could see who the friends were you could at least then check not sky ping with inappropriate people and so on.

 

Out of interest regarding the thread I am no longer in contact with any Primary school friends this sort of ended when went away to college but still have friends known since 11 (the above mentioned two) and from college so some of 40 and 50 year standing!!

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