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Boarding School Blues


We have been married for 21 years. We have one daughter, she is 15 and going to be 16 in oct 2000. My daughter is a 10 grader and she has not been doing do good in school. Her grades fluctuates between semesters. She get better grade in the beginning of the term and slides at end of the year. This has been going on since grade 7. My wife was very upset about her and of course, I was the victim of my daughter’s grade. Now my wife wants her me to send her to a boarding school or she is moving out of the house. I am very reluctant to do so, because her school is one of the best in the district. Many people wants to move in here and because of the school district, the property value has gone (up) substantially. I need help, please let me know what should I do to prevent this separation. I love my wife and my daughter dearly. Thank you and best regards.

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If I understand correctly, your wife is upset with your daughter’s school performance, and ends up attacking you over this issue – making you the ‘victim’ and also the person who needs to do something about the situation. Your wife has come up with a ‘solution’ (e.g., send your daughter away to boarding school) but you do not think this is a good solution. Your wife wants you to be the one to make the decision, but if you don’t go with her boarding school solution, she’s moving out. What a dilemma! The relationship dynamics you’ve described here are messy. You and your wife should be cooperating with each other, not opposing one another and certainly not making one another ‘victims’. Your daughter’s grades are not being addressed directly (e.g., by suggesting a tutor for her, testing her for learning problems, or providing some incentive program to help her buckle down), but rather the solution your wife wants (sending her away to a controlled environment until she shapes up) is indirect and doesn’t really address the problem. Boarding school may or may not help her; it just isn’t clear at all. The bigger problem here (to my mind anyway) is not your daughter’s grades, but the poor communication and lack of cooperation within your marriage. Please consider both you and your wife going for marital counseling with the goal of strengthening your union. You’ll both have more success in helping your daughter if you strengthen your marriage first.

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