If you’ve been following along with anything this week you’ve probably read about the Chinese Mom.
As we get ready to head to high school open house #2, and hope it’s nothing like #1, I realize I’d never be able to parent like that. Not that I thought I ever could, or would ever want to, but still.
I think I mentioned that our town has open enrollment for high school students, which means they can choose which of the 3 public high schools to attend.
Two of them are really no more than 10-15 minutes apart. Depending on the route you take, maybe closer to 5. One is thought to be more sports oriented while the other has a little stronger art/music reputation but they are both good schools.
We’ve felt all along it was D1’s decision. Maybe if it was school #3 on the other side of town, we’d feel a little differently but still, it’s her future and we think she should have some say.
I was absolutely shocked at the number of parents at the first open house who didn’t agree with that approach even a little bit. I’d mention that D1 hadn’t really decided yet and more often than not they’d say “Oh, I’m not giving my daughter/son a choice. They’re going here.”
For some it was because they lived closer and a couple said it was because it was on their way to work and therefore more convenient for them.
The closer thing I can kind of understand but not so much because, as I said, the schools are so close together. One they walk to school. The other they walk 4 blocks the other direction and hop on the very safe city bus for a 5 minute ride with a lot of other students.
I’ve talked to other parents the last couple of years who laughed because they’d moved close to one school and their child picked the other. Those parents made it about their sons and daughters and made it work.
The “it’s on our way to work” excuse really didn’t convince me either. What’s 10 minutes and when haven’t we, the last 13-14 years, gone a little out of our way for our kids? I should mention that because of the open enrollment, there are no school buses for this age group.
Maybe I’m being too simplistic. Probably. But I’ve carted D1 around all these years, told her what to do and most likely when to do it. This is really the biggest decision she’ll have the freedom to make on her own up to this point.
She’s looked closely at both schools and we want to show her we trust her enough to make the choice she thinks will help map out her future.
She’s a bright talented girl making the decision for the right reasons, not because some cute boy is going there. Sure the fact that the band occasionally plays in the Rose Bowl parade might be an incentive but who cares, I’m pretty sure I’ll be available to chaperone.
I know how much she appreciates our support and the fact that we’ve given her the right to decide. She’s told us several times.
In a few years her college options may be a little more limited based on scholarships and our financial status so for now, it’s her turn.
I’m a “western mom” and proud of it!
UPDATE: School #2 freaking rocked!!!