Saturday, January 15, 2011

Parental Issues

After letting Eva have her own posts for so long, it is my turn now.

First of all, I have to let you know that this post has nothing to do with my dogs at all; it is a completely human issue post and it is going to be a bit random, disturbing, long and it is actually a mother's issue. So if you think you prefer a light daily read, please skip this post. I wouldn't mind at all : )

Many of you know that I have a daughter, Rosie who studies in a boarding in the UK and she is only 15, well, turning to her sweet 16 this April.

This post is all about her and me:

Rosie is good in music since she was a tiny little one and she was so lucky to have some very good experienced teachers to teach her piano and violin. Her piano teacher is a Uzbeks Russian, her husband was working here so she was teaching piano here; she is the one who told us that our little Rosie was talented in music and she did a great job in bringing up her interests and skills. However, three years later, her husband got the US green card so the whole family had to move to the States within six months.

Rosie loved this teacher very much and she was really into music at that time. As a mummy, I just knew I had to look for another good teacher who was at least equivalent to this teacher to teach Rosie. I couldn't find any because Rosie didn't like any one of them at all. Through the few years of learning the piano, she had attended to all the so-called talented, excellent piano teachers, local teachers, expats, any big names in town people can name it. However, except her piano teacher, she considered none of them.

I resorted to overseas at last as her violin teacher suggested us some good overseas schools. Let me cut it short, we found the present school, a music specialist school which caters both academic studies and music in the UK for aged 8 to 18. Rosie was ten years old and she was so lucky to get a full scholarship then, both of us packed and arrived the UK, I was with her for the first two years, just two of us because Daddy had to stay put and make more money for us to spend in the UK. Rosie enjoyed the school a lot and had a great fun over there. The problem came when the British High Commission rejected my multiple entry visa when Rosie was twelve because according to their Immigration Rules and Regulations, students who are above twelve are considered to be mature and independent so their parents can't stay there with them anymore. I couldn't stay in the UK like the first two years anymore, I had to come home. How about Rosie? She got her school there.

It was a big struggle for me, I had no heart to leave my daughter there at all. Then Rosie told me to come home but she stayed there because she loved the school and she liked her piano teacher. She still adores and loves her piano teacher and this is the six years she is with her now.

The nightmares came after I left her in the Uk. She started to feel miserable because she missed home a lot. I have to admit that we have a very strong mother and daughter bond, sometimes, I think it is too strong that it makes her very clingy. I know it is good to have a close relationship with my child but somehow I feel that there are disadvantages too. Don't get me wrong, I love Rosie to bits and I don't mind her being clingy at all. However, I hope there is something which can help her stop missing home so much and let her be happier there.

She didn't like the school anymore, she found people were annoying and she just wanted to come home because her daddy and mummy and her beloved dogs were at home. We talked to each other everyday and we had been though so many sad days and nights. Time flies by and this is her third year being alone in the school and she still misses home a lot. You can see how gradient she looks whenever she is home, she is so happy and she doesn't want to go anywhere at all when she is home. She just wants to be AT home. It is always a joy to have her at home and it is always sad when it is time for her to leave home again. Life has been hard for three of us since then.

No matter how hard her life is at school, she excels in both academic studies and music. She is one of the top pianists and I have no problem with her other studies. She is indeed a very good girl. She might be immature in many other things, make mistakes, throw her tantrums, being anti-social and rude; however, there are many virtues that I can bla bla bla here. I'm not going to do that, you might think I'm bragging about my daughter already.

My little one is a young lady today and she starts to question what her future will be these days.
After being in this school for five years, she wonders whether

1.  she should stay in the school for her A-levels as she is doing her O levels in June?
2.  she should continue her music once she leaves the school?
3.  she doubts whether she really wants to be a pianist especially a concert pianist? This is due to the consideration that musicians have to work very hard and the pay checks aren't big. Besides, she will spend most of her time within the four walls and practise and practise and still practise for that few minutes or one hour performance.
4.  if she finishes her A-levels at the present school, she has eight full years with the present piano   teacher, should she follow her if she goes to a music conservatoire which also means she will learn with her for another four more years. How long is considered enough to be with the same teacher?
5. if she doesn't become a pianist, what could she do if she is only good at music? She thinks she can't do any other subjects because she doesn't do much academic compared with normal school children.
6.  she used to consider Germany as her next stop after her A-levels, however, she lost her confidence in German language lately as she has a German teacher who just chats about the weather instead of teaching the language properly. She can't teach at all so she spends time chatting with the kids. It is a shame I know, I feel sad because she never really helps her students who plan to go to Germany, many of her school kids worked really hard on their own in order to get into a German Conservatoire.

So these are some of the issues at home lately and we have been talking about them since the first day she went back to her school. She has started missing home again : (

As her mummy, I have tried my best giving my advice but I feel that I'm at my wit's end nowadays and I hope some of you can help give me or Rosie some advice too.

Please pour out what you think, thanks!!!

A little extra information: We don't have such a school here, she won't get a good piano teacher like whom she has right now and a reasonable good education here either. So, you can say she is stuck there for the music and education wise. Back here, music is pop but not classical music and this is completely different from what she is learning at school. For education, most kids here will try their best to further their tertiary studies in overseas, popular countries will be the States, the UK, Australia and some others.

By the way, Rosie is dreaming of having her kennel one day but I told her she has to buckle up herself and make sure her pay checks are good before she starts having it because dogs need good foods and good health and they are expensive.  In order to get a better future, she had better work hard in her academic and music so she can secure a job in the future too, LOL!!!


Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

By the way, Rosie is dreaming of having her kennel one day By the way, Rosie is dreaming of having her kennel one day but I told her she has to buckle up herself and make sure her pay checks are good before she starts having it because dogs need good foods and good health and they are expensive. In order to get a better future, she had better work hard in her academic and music so she can secure a job in the future too, LOL!!!

Ok this is the part that really hit me. I am the LAST person to give advice since I only have step children...but I think Rosie's "true calling" (along with her many other talents) is with dogs. She has an uncanny way of relating to them, she has a true gift.
I COMPLETELY agree with you that she should complete her other schooling first....can she come home and resume her studies and music too at home? That way she could be with her beloved babies, still learn academics and practice her music.
Is her scholarship done or is she still on it?
Can she get a scholarship at a school at home? (you might have said it and I might have missed it)
When I watch Eva relating to Rosie it is simply amazing (you know how hard it sometimes is for Shelties to "focus" and Rosie seems to have the "magic touch".
Whatever she chooses she is truly gifted...I think at 15 it is hard to say what our life's calling is but I know in some way Rosie's "calling" is going to involve dogs...she is lucky to be so talented that she can pretty much call the shots for her future.
I doubt I helped...but your post really touched my heart...I can only imagine the anguish as a Mom (and a GREAT ONE AT THAT) that you are going through.
I have faith that whatever Rosie chooses she will be an enormous success...she has so much love in her life and a Mom who instilled so much confidence in her.
No matter what she will SUCCEED!
Love to you all!

Yas said...

We wish for all the best and success for Rosie in her future endeavors!!

Maxx and Mommy

Sam said...

Wow, I don't have any advice for you at all - I can see how the whole thing would be a strain on both you and Rosie.

Ultimately, I think that we have one life and ought to live it wisely - if Rosie is very unhappy at the school I wouldn't blame her one bit for giving it up, even if it's very prestigious, and she has a scholarship, etc.

On the other hand, sometimes we have a suffer a little to get something we ant in the end.. so I think Rosie really needs to think about whether she wants to be a pianist or not. If she does, maybe she can grind out the rest of her time at the school.

I don't think there's any wrong decision.. you and Rosie will decide what's best for her. :)

Lorenza said...

Sorry I don't have a good advice for you. I am the only "furkid" she has!
But I know you will find the perfect solution to make everything work so Rosie and you will be happy.
Take care
Kisses and hugs

Amanda said...

I guess the best I can offer is a lesson from my own experience.

First of all, and I think most importantly, I find it is completely unnecessary for a 16 year old girl to have an idea whatsoever what she wants "when she grows up". She's at an age where she should be trying out different things and finding out what lights her up, what her passions are without any pressure to make a choice yet. Personally, I hate the way schools pressure kids with this, I think it just adds unnecessary anxiety.

I waited 5 years after I graduated from High School (at the age of 18) to decide to go to college. There is a piece of me that wishes I had gone right after graduation, but there are also many reason I'm glad I waited. I spend those 5 years trying different things and figuring out what I really wanted. When I went to college, I thought I knew for sure what I wanted to do with my life. I proceeded to change my major at least 4 times. I find that a good solid GENERAL EDUCATION in college (learning a little about ALL subjects) is so extraordinary valuable that I can't even express it in words. I discovered so many passions in my life by taking classes I HAD to take for my general education that I never would have taken otherwise. I just graduated from college last month (at the age of 29) and the fact is, whether I use my degree or not, it was well worth the experience and I know a heck of a lot more about myself today than I did when I started.

As far as being clingy, personally I find that to be something best left to work itself out. I have lived on my own since the age of 18, but I stayed over at my parents' house on weekends for many years. When I first graduated from High School, there is no way I would have been able to go to college far away from home. Even when I did go, I went to a college close to home. Eventually, I just kinda grew out of it.

And the kennel thing... well, just remind her that option will always be there for her and it's up to her to work her way up to making it happen. My "kennel" is just beginning, 2 1/2 months before my 30th Birthday, and it's something I've been working toward for a good solid 12 years. (and I will continue to work for it the rest of my life). For me, I have found that a career is what I work for, but dogs are what I live for. I tried making dogs my work, and it took all the fun out of it.

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

Thanks so much for sharing all of that -

I so wish I had some words of wisdom but I so do not -

It has to be so very challenging to all of you -

I tend to hold that things happen for reasons - so perhaps THAT will come into play in this case too -

verobirdie said...

I wish I could help, but only Rosie, her father and you can decide.
Rosie is at a difficult age, where almost all kids don't know exactly what they want. And it is normal that she is clingy when she comes home, since she misses home.
My only advice would be to consider each target at a time, first her O levels, then something else.
And read Amanda story above...

Sara said...

I am always amazed at the tremendous value people from other countries place on education. Admirable to say the least. Being able to leave a home at such a young age demonstrates what a purposeful young lady Rosie has become.

I think many young people go through a time when they have to make a tough decision, and choose between their heart and their future goals. My feeling is if you follow your heart, the rest will eventually fall into place.

Here are two bits of advice I heard from my dad...over and over...and I've been so glad I followed his words...."You don't go to school to get a job, you go to school to get and education" and "You will spend more time at your job than you will at home, so find a job you will LOVE."

Whatever Rosie chooses, she will be OK in the world, because she has a loving family, intelligence, and a kind heart.

George said...

Its a hard time at her age, and like the other comments I'm not sure she will know what she what's
Life is full of roads with forks in them. You have to take the road you are happy with at the time, don't look back. But what ever road you take make the most of it.
Jan xxx

Arran, Arthur and Mum said...

Sounds like some tough decisions to be made. Sorry I can't be of much help. However you don't get the chance to be young and experience school twice (I know you can go back to education, but you will never be the same age, with the same lack or responsibilities) So I would say get the best education she can and not worry too much about future jobs for now.

Dawn said...

I agree with is so important, and if she can't get a good education at home, she needs to stay where she is...but she needs a broad education and the chance to study a lot of things in order to make up her mind later on what she wants to do when she grows up. And even then she can change her mind! So my vote, not that it counts, is that she gets the very best education you can afford to give her...wherever that may be...and she will excel in whatever she chooses to do!

Anonymous said...

Wow.... Rosie must be a very strong girl to be alone in a foreigh country since such a young age....

Well, let my mommy share what she is currently experiencing.... Besides, we're from the same country, probably have similar values regarding education.... hopefully it'll be able to shed some light on your situation....

I'm just older than Rosie by few years, currently struggling through my 2nd year in university. What i'm studying is basically my 3rd choice, why so? I was rather unsure of what I wanted, never really gave a thought on that issue, thinking that mom & dad will always be there to settle for me. So I kinda screwed my pre-u years, which I regretted.
Honestly, I had at least half the passion to study what i'm studying now but as I progress on, I find myself losing interest (being my 3rd choice) and find myself with a new interest. But at the same time, I have no way out as I am now in a huge debt to PTPTN education loan and only by completing my course that I would have the ability to repay such a huge amount.

Rosie is still young and have plenty of time. it is good that she is beginning to plan for her future. Perhaps by the time she is done with O-levels but is still unsure of what she wants to do then maybe continue on with A-levels and perhaps by then she'd have better directions?

I talked to my mom about my issue and she told me, there are many people out there doing a job they do not like but for the sake of survival they continue on.
I have a similar dream like Rosie's, to be involved with show dogs, having my kennel etc. But like as what you have said, these dreams would require us to have a stable finance and huge capital.

On this, perhaps Rosie could consider the advice my mom gave me. Work on a job that gives good paycheque and save up that, when she's got enough, then she can quit and fulfill her dreams.

Maybe Rosie could weigh out if she prefers a job that has better pay and perhaps(emphasis on perhaps) be able to 1day fulfill her dream of owning a kennel, or a job that allows her to live passionately but perhaps(again, emphasis on perhaps) might not be able to fulfill her dream of owning a kennel.

But at the end of the day, the decision is on Rosie's hands while her parents' can pass her words of wisdom, guiding her to the best route for her.

Praying that the Lord will pour down His wisdom to guide her and His love to accompany her when she feels homesick.

Love, Seraph & Seraph's Mommy

Chris and Ricky said...

Tough choices you you are dealing with. I am sure Rosie misses home very much but it seems to me that she is in a great school with a great program and great teachers and she should try to stay there for now (since school at home seems out of the question). The music world is incredibly difficult (as you guys know) even when you are a musician of the highest level. I think pianists have an even more difficult time since there is only one pianist per orchestra (for ex.). BUT the world needs fantastic pianists!! I believe every musician should have another avocation(I didn't and wish I would have) so if Rosie can think of something else - even if it is a business degree (so she can better run her kennel business) when she starts college she can double major. I always LOVED my teachers as a kid and each time I had to leave one I was devastated but soon loved the new one. Perhaps changing schools for the next level (like from high school to college here) as well as teachers would be a good idea. She shouldn't give up on the German based on a poor teacher as she could learn on her own!

Any way, just some thoughts..

Sorry you have to worry about all this but at least it is in this day when you can Skype and email and cell phone call!

Take care Priscilla and Rosie! I wish you all the best in the world no matter what decisions you make!


the booker man said...


even if rosie decides not to pursue music for a career, it sounds like she's at a great school in the UK, and it's an opportunity not available to her at home. i'd say if she can stick it out, she should finish up her schooling there.
several others have mentioned this already, but rosie's almost 16 and still so young! i certainly didn't know what i wanted to do career-wise at her age, so she shouldn't feel pressured to make that decision now. i think she should try out things that interest her and figure out what she likes to do. rosie does have a special touch with dogs. :)
ya'll are putting so much thought into this decision, and i know you will make the best choice!

the booker man and asa's mama

Remington said...

Beth here....being a mother of two beautiful and talented children who are grown with families of their own my only advice is to encourage whatever dreams they may have -- even if mistakes are is to be lived and the only way any of us can do that is by experience. She sounds like a very mature lady. Be there for her, lend advice when asked, support her dreams and love her more and more everyday (I know, if that is even possible....) You are a great mommy and have done an outstanding job. Enjoy the joy of having this beautiful daughter!

Peggy Frezon said...

I feel for you and this situation. Rosie is still very young but the decisions she is faced with now are very important. I can sort of relate a little bit, because my daughter Kate and I have a very very close relationship and when she went away to college, it was very difficult to let her go. But I knew it was best for her and her future, and she was happy. The question for you is what to do now that Rosie isn't happy apart from you. I'm wondering if maybe it is because she is confused about where to go now, confused about her future, or what steps to take to achieve her goals, and home seems safe and secure? Before you make any decisions, I would say to question her and maybe the school to find out if there is anything going on there that might be upsetting to her...a teacher or student she doesn't get along with? Rosie sounds like a very smart girl with a special talent and having a special talent isn't always easy. If she really wants to come home, maybe you could ask her to come up with her idea of a new plan for how she can nurture these skills. You wouldn't want her to throw them away. Best of luck, and I can tell you only want the best for sweet Rosie.

Sagira said...

I don't have any human children so I am probably the wrong person to give advice. All I will say is that I can't imagine how hard it must be for you to leave her in another country for her studies. Rosie sounds like a very bright child and I am sure that she will make the right decision. Do what makes you happy. :)

Trixie, Lily, and Sammy-Joe said...

Our Mama read this and she said she didn't know what to advise, because it is really different here in the USA. Here, it would be really rare and difficult for a teenager to go to school in a different state, let alone a different country! We think the most important thing would be to follow your hearts. If Rosie and you are miserable apart, maybe you could find a way to be together. she could always continue her music education in college! (but we are just cats and dogs, so what do we know!)

Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

It's actually making me leave 2 comments because of the length!

I had typed a huuuuge comment earlier today, but it looks like it didn't save! UGH!! I won't go through the whole thing again. But first, I didn't realize that her school was a special music school, that's very impressive!

Basically I said, my opinion comes from someone in Rosie's perspective more than a parent's perspective, because I was miserable away from school too. Sometimes I wish I'd have stayed there because I'd almost be done and almost ready to graduate, but you can't measure contentment and happiness. For me, it was not worth how awful I felt every single day there. It didn't have as much to do with missing home as it did with just being in a bad situation. Also, I can identify with her questioning whether or not to stay with music. I started playing golf when I was 6 years old, and was in tournaments and everything. I could've gotten a full scholarship and potentially played professionally, but one day I just lost my passion for it. It wasn't worth lying to myself and pretending I still loved it.

If Rosie thinks she can handle it, I would definitely stay until June. It's only a few months away.

After that, even though the instructor doesn't really teach German, I would try to find some other way to take lessons and go to the German Conservatoire. It sounds like a wonderful experience, and I really think it would help Rosie both in her music career, education, and life experience.

If she's questioning whether or not she wants to continue with music, I wouldn't recommend stopping totally. But if she cuts back her practice and time by about 25%, she'll have enough space to examine how she feels about it (how much she really misses it or doesn't miss it) while not stopping all involvement. Just enough to give her some space to see how she really feels about it. It'll give her an answer one way or another.

I don't know about whether or not she should follow her current instructor. You and Rosie would be the best judge of that. If you (and she) feel that she's continuously learning and growing, then she should still study under her. If you both feel that Rosie has kind of hit a plateau and this instructor won't help her any further, then it'll be time to move on. I think in some cases, you can learn from the same instructor indefinitely. But there may come a time where you've gone as far as you can with that particular person. Unfortunately you and Rosie will be the only ones to answer that.

If she doesn't become a pianist, there are a ton of things she can do. It's not like she's in her 4th year of college and about to graduate under a particular degree or field of study. She's in a prestigious school, but not the kind where it dictates her life purpose yet. Please tell her not to worry about that - there's always time to change your studies. Always.

Also, I understand that she's questioning whether or not she really wants to be a pianist. I think that taking a little time away from it will make a clear answer, but in general, since it takes so much time and effort and practice for such a little monetary reward, a person would have to be absolutely in love and committed to the thought. If she's already questioning it, I wouldn't think she'd enjoy it as much as those type of person.

Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

As far as the kennel thing, I love that that's what she wants to do. I would love to be involved with dogs in some way too as a career, but I've come to realize that you need money beforehand to invest in it. I think that she'll have to get a regular career (pianist, whatever) and then when she has an established income, she can start to incorporate her kennel dreams.

So, my final point is: I've been in a similar situation, away from home at a school I didn't want to be in, and also in a separate activity that I showed fantastic promise in. I left both the school and the activity, and in doing so I left an almost guaranteed comfortable life. But there are enough unhappy people in the world. I didn't want to be yet another person doing something I didn't really love. Yes I'm further behind in my studies than people my age because I've switched schools (and changed my degree - my original one was German, and I've switched to Biology, so almost all of my original courses are now considered useless) and I also no longer play golf competitively. But, I don't regret the choices I've made. The most important thing for Rosie to remember is, any knowledge is wonderful and she'll never be wasting her time as long as she's in school, and her ultimate happiness is most important.

koko said...

I wish I can offer some good advice to you, Priscilla... only a mother could understand what you're going through right now. But I do hope you'll find a balance eventually... just remember there's no right or wrong decisions, it's up to us to make it right. All the best to you.

Licks, hero

MadSnapper said...

this is my first visit to your blog. i saw the photo of your sweet dog on Rems site.
I say let her make her own decisions and support her no matter what. coming from a family that forced what daddy wanted on me, he was king and knew best. let her choose, if she makes a mistake, she will learn from it. i see many people who thing they are doing what is best for the child but it is really what they want. if she is miserable in another country, let her come home. it is her life and her choices. she sounds like she is very talented and gifted in more than one thing, so she has choices.

Lola and also Franklin, too said...

It's hard for an American middle class sort of person to give advice on this sort of thing. Boarding away from home before college is almost always just something for the very wealthy here and not always even for them. Also, our educational structure is somewhat different.

Our hearts say that Rosie should come home if she wants to and that the time together with you would be just as beneficial as a superior education, but we don't know what the opportunities are for her there.

We know that you'll all put your heads together and come up with a good choice. There is probably not a right or wrong choice in all this. More like a lot of trade-offs, and you and Rosie will come up with the one that works best for you.

Anonymous said...

Priscilla, I don't know much about pianos, or even giving good advice, but I do know that you are a great mother and allowing Rosie to follow her dreams is an amazing thing!! Continue to encourage her, and tell her that she can do it! As much as being away is hard for her, it is so good for people to get out and see the world on their own. She is learning so much out there! I am sure that whatever you decide to do, or decide not to do will be the correct decision. Don't loose faith in yourself!

Paige & Simba

Kirby, CGC said...

Wow, those are tough decisions to make, especially when you are so young. I don't have any kids of my own, but I am very close to my nieces and nephews so I thought of them if they were in that situation. I would tell them to think about what makes them happy. If her dream is to run a kennel than maybe she should think about what it takes to do that. Like business classes. I have a niece that is 11 and her dream is to run her own animal rescue, and I have no doubt she will do it. She is also a talented artist, but it is the animals that make her happy, she said that she could do her art on the side and make money to help the animals. Maybe Rosie could teach piano to others? It would be a way to raise money, and since you said there are no good piano teachers in Malaysia, maybe Rosie could be the one! Maybe a change in classes could be a good thing for her? I think there has to be a way to make the two work. I guess that is what I would try to focus on. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Kirby's mom

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

My BFF is a classically trained pianist. In the end, the thing that made her pursue other avenues was meeting a young pro musician who was very honest with her. He told her he was lonely all the time. Unless you are very lucky as a musician, you are ALWAYS travelling. If travelling and being away from your loved ones comes easy, do it. If not, don't.

Every pro musician I know has MANY teachers. Even if only for a short time. From what you wrote, Rosie has had two... I say move on.

If she really wants a kennel, I say finish those O levels and get thee to a school to study business and animals... vet? husbandry???

Good luck Rosie and Mom!

Diana said...

Wow what a lot to deal with. I cant beleive the UK says a 12 year old is an adult. Here 18 is the magic number.
I think Rosie needs to stay in school. Kids dont know what they want and shouldnt make those type of major decisions. Now about changing schools, that maybe hard too. It doesnt sounds like she likes change to much. Maybe if you found a school in your country that you feel is good enough for her , then tell her thats the one and she has to stay no matter what. Also going back to school is always hard after being home. I hope you both feel better soon. Diana

The Thuglets said...

Priscilla.... I am sure whatever Rosie chooses to do, you will be there to love and support her.

She is a very clever and gifted young lady. Maybe ..we should all follow our dreams?

Big Nose Pokes
The Thugletsx

Lian said...

Don't think I can give you much advise on this Priscilla, this is why I choose to have shelties instead of children :)

Hope you managed to sort out what you are going to do.

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