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 Post subject: Negative comments
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 7:56 am 
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Ok, I hope any of you out there with independent school experience can help me with this one.

This weekend I went out for a long awaited girls night out with close friends. What's wrong with that I hear you ask?. Well nothing it was great but totally ruined for me by comments from one particular friend about our decision to place our DS, from state Primary, into a wonderful independent school.

We were so proud when our DS not only passed the entrance exams to the two schools we liked but also gained a small academic scholarship to one of them. We have never boasted or in fact talked outside the family about his achievement other than to state where he will be going from September. However, likewise we have always been honest about our desires for his education for senior school as it is something we have planned for since he was very small.

Am I being overly sensitive? This is all new to us. This is not the first negative comments we have recieved, but the first from friend. I know many will say she is not really a freind then, but truly she is and this is quite out of character.


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:02 am 
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I'm sorry this has happened Suncrest, unfortunately it happens all too often.

A lot of people will say it's because they don't believe in the private sector and all children should be educated in state schools - well that's their belief and they are entitled to it.

Personally, I think a lot of it comes from jealousy, even though they would vehemently deny it.

Don't let detractors put you off from your son's achievements. You have a right to chose the type of education your son gets, just as much as anyone else.

They can voice their opinions as much as they like, but that's all it is - their opinion, don't let it affect you.

Well done to your DS and I hope he enjoys his new school in September :)

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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:23 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
I posted a while ago somewhere about my feelings when a friend revealed to me out of the blue that her children would not in fact be following mine through the state system. Rather than rewrite I have copied it here:

Quote:
I have been in the position of having a friend, with children younger than mine but to whom I had chatted merrily about school, shared experiences when hers started at the local infants, passed on secondhand uniform and advice, talked about the transition to Juniors etc - and was somewhat taken aback when she told me they would be moving to the junior department of the local private school rather than following my children through the local state schools. Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised but I was, initially, and perhaps there was a niggle of "hurt" - a feeling that somehow the decision ( which I think to be fair was prompted by her OH's family offering help with fees) was an implicit criticism of the school I had chosen for my children - not good enough for her little darlings perhaps. There was also a faint fear that the loss of the shared experience of the same school will threaten aspects of our friendship. Now of course, being I hope a good friend, I didn't say any of this to her - we talked eventually about the pros & cons, she expressed the reasons which had convinced her, and occasionally we still compare experiences of the differing approaches to things like class allocations, GCSE options, etc and after many years we are still very good friends ( we do however have other things in common - if we had only ever met at the school gate it would have been more difficult to keep the friendship at the same level, purely because life is so busy with the children's social lives...).

Of course we would all aim to be totally understanding and non-critical of the decisions our friends make, but parenting does inevitably have a competitive edge, even amongst good friends, which it is healthy to be aware of even if to resist it. Someone choosing a different path from the one we had always assumed they agreed with us about is unsettling - perhaps leading to thoughts such as "did we make the right decision after all if the Jones's don't think Leafy Comp is right for their children..." Children's friendships inevitably change when they move schools and that's uncomfortable for parents too, if a previous "best friend" is going elsewhere

Having seen two of mine safely through their schooling I can now be more relaxed - in the long run their contemporaries that have followed different routes have all more-or-less ended up in the same places you might have expected, and I am confident enough in my children and the decisions we (and they) have taken not to feel threatened by other people choosing differently. But I hope this helps those of you feeling hurt by friends/ acquaintances who seem less close to understand what they might be thinking too


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:25 pm
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It always surprises me how critical people can be about the decision to use private schools, and I am always amazed when people post negative comments on this forum.

It would never be acceptable or reasonable to criticise someone for sending their child to a state school, or for that matter criticise any of a myriad of other personal choices in life - so why do people feel they have a right to be so disapproving of people taking the private school route?

It seems to me it boils down to the idea that people are buying their child an advantage in life. For many, us included, this comes at the cost of a massive financial sacrifice. But that is our choice - I don't expect to be criticised by friends for it.


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:34 am 
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Mumoffour,

I don't wish to go off topic, but it does also work the other way around. Our kids have gone from Independent to state and some of the parents at the independent definitely look down on you when your kids choose to go on to a state school.

Suncrest,

If your friend was not aware of you wanting your kids to go onto an independent school, could she just feel a bit hurt that you hadn't shared this with her?


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:48 am 
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But why should she share it??

There are lots of things we do in this life without having to resort to asking everyone's (or even a select few's) opinion.

This was a matter between Suncrest and her husband.

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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 9:11 am 
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Snowdrops, I agree she shouldn't have to share it.

I was just trying to say that some people might feel a bit upset if maybe they feel that they have shared things with you and that you haven't reciprocated (please take 'you' as referring to 'one').

I was definitely not trying to say that the friend is right to behave in this way, far from it, just trying to think of reasons why she might have.


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 9:34 am 
Being a working class gal (or maybe "under- class"!) ;) my friends and new aquaintances are often from the same background.However the moment they find out what type of schools I send my children to their attitude changes and the friendship ends because they distance themselves from me. Even my father doesn't talk to me because we have decided to send DC privately. He comes from a generation where many (not all) working class men did not want their kids to move above their station. :roll: It is clear to me that he is consumed with issues of jealousy and low self-esteem.

Suncrest, you may well find that your friend begins to boast about how well her little darlings are doing at the fabulous comps and you will feel that you cannot do the same. If you want to remain friends then just humour her. However things may get worse (if she doesn't get over it - friends aren't always as decent as solimum) when DS gets more GCSE's or gets into a better uni or goes on some exotic trip. She'll criticise you again. She'll tell you you and your son has changed (believe me it happens) and you may well just feel very unhappy everytime you see her.

I even found myself justifying my choices to a stranger the other day - more fool me! :roll: I was in a shop in a very working class town and the assistant asked why I was visiting. I said I was off to see X school (top school in county) and when I saw her face I mumbled that I heard they offered large scholarships for parents who couldn't afford the fees. So she assumed I was talking about my circumstances and was happy to chat although she warned me that people weren't as friendly "over there"! I doubt very much she's ever had much interaction with any of them! :x

Give me a few years and my cantancarous side will be fully developed so I won't give a monkeys what anyone thinks! :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 9:37 am 
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I know what you mean, unfortunately some people do have the mindset that they should be able to have an input into everything though.

I knew someone once (someone I worked with a looooooong time ago) who thought it was her right to be able to tell her sister what to call her (sister's) forthcoming child. I really couldn't get my head around that one.

I dunno, sometimes I feel it must just be me :? Maybe I'm too secretive/insular, perhaps I should share more?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 9:45 am 
I was brought up not to boast.When I post DS results of the schools he hopefully gets a place at I'll feel a little uncomfortable but why shouldn't I? Then there are those who boast about everything and do not acknowledge anyone elses achievements. I have had to sit through many a boring conversation :roll: and believe it or not I am usually the listener in a friendship :shock: which is probably why I let everything out on this forum! :lol:


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