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Don't want my daughters to sleep over at Shabbaton anymore

 
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amother




OP
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 8:09 pm
For the second year in a row, something scary has happened during my high school daughters' Shabbaton. I don't want to get into specifics since I'm sure some of the other moms in this school are on here. I'll just say that in both cases, Friday night was horrible because girls were staying up the whole night scared the girl (both girls) were going to kill themselves. These were previously normal-seeming girls who started talking about suicide and stuff. I feel horrible for these poor kids that are obviously in a lot of pain and possibly having mental health issues as well, but at the same time I don't want my daughters to be put in that scary situation again. (Obviously the school is working intensively with both girls now to get them the help they need.)

It's a small school and for Shabbaton each class sleeps in one family's home. The seudos are in a shul and the talks and workshops are in different teachers' homes. I can't figure out what's going on that makes Shabbaton so triggering for some girls, but something about the dynamics of having everyone packed together for a Shabbos is really, really bad for some kids.

I'm nervous to tell the school this. I need advice about how to say it in a way that won't make things difficult. Help?
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small bean




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 8:10 pm
Why dont you just say exactly what you just said. Are you in walking distance to the teachers homes? Can your daughter have a few friends stay by you and just join for the meals and speeches? Are you okay with that?
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thunderstorm




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 8:14 pm
IMO it’s not just Shabbatons. This was my experience on a regular day at school. There were girls that discussed different ways of how they tried to kill themselves and what their next plans were. Girls felt safe confiding in me because I’m that type of person that listens and doesn’t judge. It was scary for me and I felt helpless. I did go to teachers that dealt with girls with personal issues and the teachers told me not to listen and not to take anything seriously. The teachers brushed it off and said “there are girls looking for attention”... I felt even more helpless after that.
I do not think at Shabbatons it gets worse. It’s just a time where the girls are in a setting all together , a bit over tired, hormonal and emotional and conversations can turn to that type of stuff. But for me, this happened on an average day in school unfortunately.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 8:30 pm
Quote:
Are you in walking distance to the teachers homes? Can your daughter have a few friends stay by you and just join for the meals and speeches? Are you okay with that?

We're in easy walking distance to the teachers' homes. I couldn't have girls sleep over because I have teenage boys sleeping at home too.

Quote:
But for me, this happened on an average day in school unfortunately.

So horrible. I'm so sorry your school didn't take you seriously when you reached out for help with these situations!!

My kids don't have kids confiding in them these things on regular days though. For them, it's just Shabbaton that turns scary.
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strawberry cola




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 8:30 pm
Perhaps having a teacher or other adult in every sleeping place could help. In any case, you absolutely should discuss your spot-on concerns with the school administration.
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amother




Sapphire
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 8:39 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Quote:
Are you in walking distance to the teachers homes? Can your daughter have a few friends stay by you and just join for the meals and speeches? Are you okay with that?

We're in easy walking distance to the teachers' homes. I couldn't have girls sleep over because I have teenage boys sleeping at home too.

Quote:
But for me, this happened on an average day in school unfortunately.

So horrible. I'm so sorry your school didn't take you seriously when you reached out for help with these situations!!

My kids don't have kids confiding in them these things on regular days though. For them, it's just Shabbaton that turns scary.


Can you have your boys sleep at friends or relatives houses and the girls stay by you?
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octopus




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 8:42 pm
Wow. That's really upsetting. I'm with you on this.
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little neshamala




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 8:42 pm
thunderstorm wrote:
IMO it’s not just Shabbatons. This was my experience on a regular day at school. There were girls that discussed different ways of how they tried to kill themselves and what their next plans were. Girls felt safe confiding in me because I’m that type of person that listens and doesn’t judge. It was scary for me and I felt helpless. I did go to teachers that dealt with girls with personal issues and the teachers told me not to listen and not to take anything seriously. The teachers brushed it off and said “there are girls looking for attention”... I felt even more helpless after that.
I do not think at Shabbatons it gets worse. It’s just a time where the girls are in a setting all together , a bit over tired, hormonal and emotional and conversations can turn to that type of stuff. But for me, this happened on an average day in school unfortunately.


Yup, I had the same experience. Being the kind of girl that others liked to confide in, I heard it all. Sometimes I tried to get help, it often didnt really work....
Shabbatons and overnight trips definiely brought out the juicy stuff, because the staying up late, talking in the darkness was the perfect environment for it...but it was always there, and some kids were always hearing it.
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amother




Jetblack
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 8:55 pm
thunderstorm wrote:
IMO it’s not just Shabbatons. This was my experience on a regular day at school. There were girls that discussed different ways of how they tried to kill themselves and what their next plans were. Girls felt safe confiding in me because I’m that type of person that listens and doesn’t judge. It was scary for me and I felt helpless. I did go to teachers that dealt with girls with personal issues and the teachers told me not to listen and not to take anything seriously. The teachers brushed it off and said “there are girls looking for attention”... I felt even more helpless after that.
I do not think at Shabbatons it gets worse. It’s just a time where the girls are in a setting all together , a bit over tired, hormonal and emotional and conversations can turn to that type of stuff. But for me, this happened on an average day in school unfortunately.


Same thing happened every year in high school. There were a couple 12th graders every year who were used to it by then and they would handle the bulk of the talking. Then I was in 12th grade and I was that girl talking girls out of wanting to kill themselves. I think the late nights with friends on Friday night really did it, I kept tabs on those girls through the year and they confided in me a bit and I really think they weren't in as bad of a place as shabbatons bring out
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Librarian




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 9:23 pm
Wow I guess not all things change with the times. This was going on 35 years ago at sleepovers when I was in High School.
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amother




Ginger
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 10:36 pm
This happens in camp and seminary as well!
What can you do? Not send them to camp or seminary either?!!
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 11:29 pm
Yikes! our local girls HS just had in-town shabbos, so I'm afraid it's ours... Sad you described how everyone is set up, meals, etc.


The school should definitely know about this!

My ideas (my daughter is not in HS yet, but this is freaking me out)...

The girls should be placed at homes where the mother will check in on them and/or are up to being awakened/informed of what's going on so they can step in.
The girls should be told in advance by the hanhala that if anything uncomfortable happens, they can get the hostess.
The girls should be told to immediately tell teachers of anything happens.
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 11:34 pm
If you really ARE in the city and HS that I am in, the frum neighborhood is small, and you live within 4 short blocks of the sleepover.

If I were you, I'd tell my daughter before next year's shabbaton, "Tziporah, if anything gets uncomfortable, you can always ask home in the middle of the night with two friends, like Malka and Adina. You can always come and wake up. I want you to."
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 11:36 pm
BTW, when I was in H S, we went on shabbatons, and this never happened.
I was in seminary with way over 100 girls and was a bit owl, and never experienced this.a
So I am surprised. I'm surprised that so many imas aren't!
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post  Sun, Nov 24 2019, 11:38 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:

I'm nervous to tell the school this. I need advice about how to say it in a way that won't make things difficult. Help?
I

TELL THE SCHOOL! Tell them what happened, his your daughter geeks, his you feel. Ask them what they can do so out doesn't happen again.
Why would it make things difficult?
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amother




Lemon
 

Post  Mon, Nov 25 2019, 2:58 am
I work in a camp and the saying is that anything said after 12 am should not be said. It's 100% true for Shabbatons and sleepovers as well. Unfortunately, I know girls that were traumatized at 15 and are having trouble getting over it five or six years later.

Keep your daughters home and tell the school why. Part of keeping our kids safe is keeping them emotionally safe.
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chefmama




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Nov 25 2019, 3:41 am
Keep your girls home, if it happened last year and you sent again, why? Do you feel it's really just nonsense teen talk or it is something real? Please speak to the school. Don't be nervous to talk to the school about anything that concerns your girls safety and well-being. Explain to them why you'll be keeping them home and ask them to check in on those other girls.
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Ruchel




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Nov 25 2019, 6:11 am
I'm a teacher. THIS IS NOT NORMAL AND NEED TO GO HIGH UP
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flmommy




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Nov 25 2019, 6:23 am
Can she go for the fun but then walk home and sleep at home?
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