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Thread: Am I smothering?

  1. #1

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    Default Am I smothering?

    Dd1 has just started high school. Year 8, 3 hours away boarding.

    I am dealing with her being there fine. So far, it's only been 4 days lol. What I'm not dealing with is the lack of communication.

    I dropped her off on Sunday. Texted her that night. Asked for a first day photo, because its something we always do & asked what was for breaky. Breaky didn't appeal to her at the orientation, so she didn't eat. I'm her mother, I need to know she ate something... right?

    Anyway I messaged her I think Monday night, knowing she wasn't a fan of that nights menu. And I was put in my place.

    'What did you end up having for dinner?'
    'Mum can you just stop?'
    'What, don't the other kids talk to their mothers'
    'No'
    'Fine'

    Next afternoon - 'mum how much money do I have in my bank?'

    It's now Thursday night. I sent her a photo of dd3's first day of kindy yesterday morning, then this afternoon let her know nan bought her a bag & a friends mother would bring it down for her.

    She's not once replied. I'm honestly about to lose it. She could at least acknowledge my messages?

    I dunno, am I over the top? She is only 12. I am her mother. She normally comes home & tells me about her day. I get that she's surrounded by mates & wrapped up in the buzz... but other mothers are telling me what she's been up to because they talk to their kids. I know nothing.

    Do I ring her & insist on some communication, or wait til things settle & find out what's happening down there from the other parents?

    I just want to know she's ok I guess...

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Am I smothering?

    I don't think you're overreacting. At 12 years old, 3 hours away, I'd expect contact each night. I'm amazed you're only texting and not calling, I think that's very strong of you lol. And really I don't see how she can be upset with a text, just send a quick reply and get back to whatever she's doing. Though I do notice she's happy to text when she needs something.

    I'd call and set out some ground rules. She needs to call/text by x time each night, and if for some reason she can't she needs to let you know why first. She is probably loving the independence, but you still need to know she's ok and she can't expect this situation to be as if she's an adult moved out on her own.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Am I smothering?

    I think she's being rude by not responding, however, maybe checking if she's eaten is a bit OTT? I went to boarding school 8 hours from home at her age and only called home once a week (it was only pay phones in those days) so maybe set out a time every 2-3 days to call?

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Am I smothering?

    It is rude not to respond, but I wouldn't insist on communication, just try and arrange every few days or something, ask her how she would like to do it, a call on set days etc., and I do think checking she has been eating is a bit too much. You want her to be calling and having a chat not having to deliver a report. I really wouldn't phrase it as you need to know she is ok, (that kind of implies you think she won't be) but just that you miss her and chatting with her and you want to tell her what you and the family are up to as well as vice versa. At that age I went on exchange trips to France and Germany and would only call home once a week at most. Obviously the technology wasn't there then to make it so easy but I am not convinced that just because it is there it is always good to use it, or expect it to be used.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Am I smothering?

    Thanks. Everyone else here grows up knowing boarding school is coming up on them. Most of the parents did it themselves. It's part of life here. So different from the life I lived as a kid.

    I know asking what she's eating was too much. I just worry. She's very fit & healthy, is always talking about her figure. She seems a little more worried about it than I'd like. Not obsessive, just aware. But even that worries me. She's also a very fussy eater. She is a kid who will go hungry before she'll eat something she doesn't like. I'm sure she'll probably eat everything while she's there though...

    I miss hearing the little things about her day. It is probably a little over the top. Lol I didn't expect to be this lost without her. But I think we will have to choose 2 or 3 days a week to just talk. Let the kids talk to her as well. Then back off & leave her & hope she's ok I guess. I gave her a thousand speeches & bits of advice before she went so I think she's heard enough from me to last til she comes home in 3 weeks lol.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Am I smothering?

    At 14, my Dd went away to school for one term, not exactly the same as boarding school but it was the first time she'd been away from me for an extended period of time so I can totally relate to how you're feeling at the moment.

    In the early stages, I found it quite hard not knowing what she was up to, whether she was happy or making friends. I really missed our after school chats when we'd catch up on the daily goss. We could only communicate with her via email, I'd write long, detailed letters about what we were up to at home and she'd give me 1 or 2 word replies which didn't satisfy me at all!

    I think you'll find that she's settling in, once she's found her feet she'll communicate more freely with you. Is there a teacher or anyone you can call today to see how she's going?

    PS. I don't think asking what she ate was over the top at all. You've fed her for her whole life, it's hard to hand responsibility for your child to someone else. It's only natural to want to know whether she's eating properly.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Am I smothering?

    I agree that how you're feeling and wanting to know those things is totally natural, but think of it from your daughter's side.

    At that age, I remember wanting to be independent and wanting my mum there when I felt I needed her. It's a pretty selfish and self absorbed age.
    If she needs you and wants to chat, she will, but you need to give her a chance to settle in and then actually have things of value to tell you.

    In terms of food, if she's hungry, she'll eat. If she doesn't like an entire meal, she may not eat it all, but that won't be the end of the world.

    I think this is a great opportunity for her to become resilient and independent, and for you to show her you trust her. I think she'll appreciate that a lot more than checking up all the time. You may not see it as checking up, but she will.

    Have said all of that - if my boys went off to boarding school, I'd probably cry for a week and then move in next door 😄 so I think you're doing the best you can in a tough situation.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Am I smothering?

    Lol judging by the other replies I'll be a very OTT Mum if my kids ever go away Clover, so you're certainly not alone!

    I do think the advice given is good though, especially that she is still settling in, finding her feet and getting used to the independence. It makes sense that she'll settle in to a routine and contact you when she's ready, and you can sort out a bit of a routine with her.

    Good luck!

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Am I smothering?

    Lol, she just called. She did want to check when she would have some more money, because she needs glue & they're only allowed down town 2 days a week, but she did talk to the kids for about 20 minutes first. She must miss fighting with them

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Am I smothering?

    You might find she contacts you more if you are a bit less accessible and perhaps phrase your text messages as something like "thinking about you today. Hope you had a good day. When you get s chance, let me know how dinner was tonight" or something. And I definitely agree that you need to set a clear expectation about how often you expect her to contact you too.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Am I smothering?

    Hey, I was just thinking about you and your DD this morning. How is everything going?


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