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Girls boarding out of town for high school

 
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Jun 06 2019, 8:44 pm
I’m considering taking in a female boarder. How do these arrangements usually work and what reasons would a family have for sending their daughter out of town for high school? I would be doing it primarily to make a difference in somebody’s life and want to be fully aware of the issues that tend to come up and what would be needed from me.
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notshanarishona




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jun 06 2019, 10:55 pm
It varies by the situation. Some girls board because they don't have or don't like their local high school. Some girls board because they need to get away from their family. Boarding families are usually expected to give meals and carpools/rides but at high school age most girls are relatively independent .
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amother




Copper


Post  Thu, Jun 06 2019, 10:58 pm
generally, there several types of borders:
1. girls from yeshivish families that live out of town and don't have a local high school. these girls are aidle, eager to go to bais yaakov, and may be homesick or lonely
2. girls from out of two that don't have a local bais yaakov that can't wait for independance and immature/looking to 'run with their freedom'/make bad choices.
3. girls from bigger cities that were either kicked out of school/ don't fit in because they are rebellious or out of the box. Often these girls come with a lot of baggage-pain from unhealthy families, pain from difficult schooling or shaming, baggage from mistakes they made, etc. These girls are generally happy to be free and looking for acceptance. They are not looking for emotional healing, but that is what they need.
4. girls from bigger cities that just need to get away--maybe its an unhealthy family or a close minded community. these girls need love and acceptance and are usually happy to comply with school norms because they are more lenient than in town ones.

I was a boarder like the first type. I had a good bording family. I was still very sad to be away from home and lonely.
my sister was the second type. she got involved in all sorts of horrible things and got kicked out of school. horrible experience.

what ALL boarders need is: love, conversation, being given a place in the family responsibilities, acceptance, rides, support, specific foods they like...basically anything you'd do for a teenage daughter. These girls are sent away from home and think they need to be like adults, and you know what--thats not healthy. they are teens and really need parent figures in their lives.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Jun 06 2019, 11:09 pm
amother [ Copper ] wrote:
generally, there several types of borders:
1. girls from yeshivish families that live out of town and don't have a local high school. these girls are aidle, eager to go to bais yaakov, and may be homesick or lonely
2. girls from out of two that don't have a local bais yaakov that can't wait for independance and immature/looking to 'run with their freedom'/make bad choices.
3. girls from bigger cities that were either kicked out of school/ don't fit in because they are rebellious or out of the box. Often these girls come with a lot of baggage-pain from unhealthy families, pain from difficult schooling or shaming, baggage from mistakes they made, etc. These girls are generally happy to be free and looking for acceptance. They are not looking for emotional healing, but that is what they need.
4. girls from bigger cities that just need to get away--maybe its an unhealthy family or a close minded community. these girls need love and acceptance and are usually happy to comply with school norms because they are more lenient than in town ones.

I was a boarder like the first type. I had a good bording family. I was still very sad to be away from home and lonely.
my sister was the second type. she got involved in all sorts of horrible things and got kicked out of school. horrible experience.

what ALL boarders need is: love, conversation, being given a place in the family responsibilities, acceptance, rides, support, specific foods they like...basically anything you'd do for a teenage daughter. These girls are sent away from home and think they need to be like adults, and you know what--thats not healthy. they are teens and really need parent figures in their lives.


Very informative. Thank you. I’m most interested in types 3 and 4. I want to play a part in giving somebody a second chance. It’s similar to wanting to give back in a similar way that I was helped once upon a time, although not quite the exact same thing.
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trixx




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jun 07 2019, 12:42 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Very informative. Thank you. I’m most interested in types 3 and 4. I want to play a part in giving somebody a second chance. It’s similar to wanting to give back in a similar way that I was helped once upon a time, although not quite the exact same thing.


That's nice but you really do have to be prepared if you're basically saying you want an "at risk" teen in your home. Do you have little kids? Consider curfew, drug or alcohol use, language, dress. The fact that maybe they're not interested in your do good intentions and may also need psychological or mental help. Your typical boarder doesn't have this baggage but the kind you are actively seeking likely will.
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notshanarishona




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jun 07 2019, 4:13 am
Not every person from a dysfunctional family is at risk. Many just need to get away.
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amother




Violet


Post  Fri, Jun 07 2019, 7:16 am
trixx wrote:
That's nice but you really do have to be prepared if you're basically saying you want an "at risk" teen in your home. Do you have little kids? Consider curfew, drug or alcohol use, language, dress. The fact that maybe they're not interested in your do good intentions and may also need psychological or mental help. Your typical boarder doesn't have this baggage but the kind you are actively seeking likely will.


These girls are far from st risk. They just want to be able to wear their hair down, wear blue nail polish, and maybe not wear stockings in Sunday's, unlike rule-heavy in town schools.
I was category 4. "All" I needs was a smile, food, ability to have friends over, understanding from the host when I wanted to eat out in shabbos or weekday so I can get to know more of the community.
I still keep in touch with my host family 10 years later. 10 years ago we paid $500/month.
The school arranged carpool, and the block had numerous girls in the school so I always had friends nearby. My host never questioned me on where I was going but as a courtesy I did inform her "I'm going to a a friend, or I'm going out with x." We had cell phones, and we had to be back by curfew.
I am now "frummer" in many ways than many of my in-town friends- so my school was doing something right! I always say, judge a school by its students in ten years. Are the growing, or are they slipping in Judaism? If they are growing, the school has done its part in showing the joy, truth, and connection of Judaism. If they are mostly sliding (in tznius across the board, mostly), then the school may have cultivated puppets who follow the crowd and don't think for themselves.

Us boarders are so grateful to people like you, OP, for giving us a chance!
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amother




Amber


Post  Fri, Jun 07 2019, 7:46 am
I agree with violet. I live in a community with a school that takes many boarders from in town. Most are like violet describes. A few have had real problems, but that was far from the norm.
Things that you need to think about is how much of a mother are you expected to be.
This will probably depends on the age of the boarder.
Are you always expected to provide food at a certain time? Or drive the girls? Does this fit in with your lifestyle?
Do you have children? Will they be resentful of the new "sibling"?

I agree that a lot of good can be done by a positive attitude. But if you really want to help the girls, are you bitting off more than you can chew? Sometimes well intentioned help can backfire.
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amother




Turquoise


Post  Fri, Jun 07 2019, 8:26 am
When you take a boarder, you need to be prepared to deal with her parents.
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amother




Pewter


Post  Fri, Jun 07 2019, 9:29 am
I've had two boarders in the past 5 years. both from in-town .

1 girl came from a mildly dysfunctional home. Nothing very noticable on the outside, but as I got to know the parents, I could see that there was a very unhealthy level of involvement and "helicoptering." It was actually the shul Rav that was able to convince the parents to let her go away-- because he was aware of the unhealthy dynamic. She meshed very well with our family, but it wasn't such a good fit between her and the school, so she didn't return.

The second girl came from a normal healthy family from a city where all the schools are fairly academic. This girl is somewhat slow, so her parents wanted her in a place where the classes are tracked and there is not so much academic pressure. She lived with us for 2 years. She is a very sweet girl, but not such a great fit for our family, --- so for 11th grade, she went to live at another family's house.

I tell this to people all the time--- only take in a boarder if you want to to a chessed. Don't do it for the money. If you need extra money, then go drive Uber or take a night shift job at a supermarket or something. But it's probably not worth the aggrivation to take in a boarder for the money.

I always treated my boarders like my own kids. Meaning, if they needed a ride to the doctor, then I would take them. If they wanted a ride to the ice skating rink or starbucks, , I would try to help when I can, or lend them a bus pass, but I wouldn't make myself crazy (I do this with my own kids too!). I would try to buy food that they liked (within our grocery budget)
Once, my boarder had a family simcha, so I took her shopping to find a dress.....that was fun!
I would not treat the boarders like hired help, but expect them to help in the same way that I expect my kids to help (clean up after yourself. help bring in groceries from the car, tear toilet paper before shabbos, help set the table, peel potatoes, etc...) I would have no problem asking my boarder to babysit a sleeping baby for free, but would pay her like a paid sitter if my kids were up. When my boarder was going home for y"t, I would make sure to be available to drive her to the bus/train station. If not, I would pay for a cab/uber...just like I would do with my own kids. you get the idea....

I didn't let my boarders "total freedom." Meaning, if they wanted to eat out on shabbos, they needed to let me know by a certain day of the week. Also, if they weren't going to be home right after school, they needed to let me know where they would be and a general idea of when they would be home. The school had a set curfew for boarders, which I had flexibility on-- assuming they told me where they were.

Also, I didn't let them babysit for other families unless I would check them out first. I would do this for my own kids too! I would want to make sure that it's a house that I would feel comfortable in

In terms of dealing with her parents, I tried not to get involved. I tried to let the school deal with it.
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amother




Turquoise


Post  Fri, Jun 07 2019, 10:42 am
amother [ Pewter ] wrote:

In terms of dealing with her parents, I tried not to get involved. I tried to let the school deal with it.


In our case, the school gives the student/family the contact information for prospective hosts, and that's it. It is up to the two families to settle on a financial arrangement, agree on roles and house rules, and so on. I was not prepared for the level of dysfunction I encountered.
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amother




OP


Post  Fri, Jun 07 2019, 11:09 am
To clarify, I’m interested in a boarder who WANTS that second chance, who is looking to rebuild her life and get on track. Not someone who is being forced against her will. That’s asking for trouble I’m not equipped to handle. Yes I know even well meaning girls will have struggles, but the overall approach is something I would consider.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jun 07 2019, 11:31 am
OP and pewter - I'm so inspired that there are people like you in the world. Kol HaKavod!
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