How do I break it to my son...?

ramriceOctober 13, 2008

...that I want to put him in a private school? I am very unhappy with the curriculum in his school district, and there is a very good Lutheran school in our town. The atmosphere is very relaxed (no uniforms), and the curriculum is very good. I want to put him in there after Christmas break.

I have to arrange a meeting for him to tour the school and meet the principal, and the principal will let me know at that time if he is accepted or not.

My son knows that his curriculum is bad (I'm always groaning when he brings home his Everyday Math homework), but he likes the school he attends.

Please help if you've been in this situation or have any good advice!

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How old is your son? Assuming he is in elementary school, I would keep a couple of things in mind when you tell him. First, take him somewhere neutral where he can't go running off to his room (make an ice-cream shoppe?). Your tone will be hugely important. You don't want to convey that you are 'discussing' this in the sense that you are looking for his input to make this decision. You have to walk that fine line of being confident and positive about your decision, but empathetic about his feelings of leaving the familiar, the potential loss of his friends, etc. Like all of us, children want to be *heard*, so really listen. And you don't have to have a solution to everything... "But I'll NEVER see my friends!!!" Clarify and empathize before you offer a fix for anything. "Are you worried that you won't see them every day? Or that you'll never see them again in your whole life?" "How would you feel about seeing friends at least twice a week after school?" If there are specific things about the school that will appeal to him (a computer club, a certain sports team...) bring those up AFTER you have won him over a little bit. Don't look for him to accept and rejoice in this decision quickly -give him empathy and time to adjust. But just don't waver or give him false hope that enough of a tantrum will change things.

Good luck, I know this is hard. But it is the right thing to do...

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 12:55PM
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Thanks, Bestyears, that is good advice.

My son is in 2nd grade now, so I wanted to make the transition as early as possible. He has friends at school, though none of them have invited him over to play yet. Part of the reason is because a lot of them are in afterschool sports and he isn't. He is in karate at the park district.

I always tell him he can invite anyone over that he wants and will continue to do so.

I was also going to tell him that he'll probably be going to high school with most of these kids as well.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 2:51PM
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You're so welcome. My own son is 16 now, and I'm certain he was in second grade just last month (LOL!). I wish you well with this...

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 10:44AM
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