Helping my 14yo at Boarding School
hi and welcome to beyond blue.
I think Sophie_M's reply provides the best practical advice for you to follow.
I guess in my reply I just want to say that I have a small understanding of what you are saying - both of my kids have been competitive swimmers through highschool - about 4 and a bit hours of swimming each day. For other reasons it was hard around exams and assignments and trying to cut down on training was not ...
I guess the differences between your story and mine is that my kids were not on a scholarship (with assoc. expectations) and my daughter could tell mum what was going on. My daughter will go to Uni next year and will likely study part tine if only to help her find a balance between study and swimming and not getting over-stressed with things.
The questions I might ask you here are things that our daughter went through....
- does your daughter strive for excellence in both academic and sports activities?
- what happens if she does not meet her expectations?
- peer pressure for not doing well?
- outside of yourself who can she unload onto? sports psychologist?
The other thing we also did was not listen too hard to teachers about what subjects they suggested the kids should do esp. in the maths and sciences. Again, it was about finding a balance. This also depends on what our kids want to do after school.
Your daughter is awesome as she is. Remind her of that and she is only human and is doing be best she can, and that is all that can be asked of her. This is something I have to keep telling myself.
Sometimes in meaning well organisations can knee-jerk react because assuming the worst and acting upon it may mean 99% of the time the person is inconvenienced, but that 1% of the time it saves a life.*
I'm going to make a few suggestions based on a mixture of my own minions and some friends who have children that have had some troubles at school. Your mileage may vary, but it could be worth a shot.
Your daughter is going through a stressful period, as are you. It sounds like there is some crossed wires in the communication on what you expect the threshhold to be for when you want the school to be concerned vs the normal bumps n grumps of growing up. It may also be a good idea to have a conversation between the three parties, (school/parents/daughter) where she gets to participate on near equal footing about herself and the school and her care, this could enable your daughter to feel she has more control over her situation, which strengthens her self confidence etc.
Establishing some sort of code or flag she can use with the teachers in class may also be useful to help them know her overall mood, lapel pins in different colours or designs that fit within the school ethos/uniform shouldn't be too hard to sort out. If your daughter is having a good day/average day/bad day/please help I dont have the words day, then it will mean that if she is 'being a kid' and acting a little different the supervising adults have a quick reference to see if its just a kid goofing off or something more significant.
Distance is going to create problems so working on strong communication and regular 'touching base' with a clear distinction between the question, "how are you?" and "How are you?" so there isn't any confusion over if its just been a busy/rough school week or if it has been a bad day/week and there is a need to delve deeper.
Hopefully somewhat helpful.
*My apologies for the hyperbole, I should dig up the actual statistics.