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I've been unreasonable but how do I fix it?

(40 Posts)
Debretts Thu 30-Dec-10 01:17:57

I have a problem, which may not be a problem at all but I need some advice.

My son was offered full bursary at a famous school to start next year. We are all really happy and he is incredibly lucky but I have not told my best friend that we were looking into it, applying or that he won the award. She is anti private schools, which is fine but because of this I didn't know how to bring it up. I've got to tell her soon but I don't know how to and I'm worried she will be upset that I have kept this from her. I thought if I told her she would potentially not want to be friends with me but by not telling her I've probably made it worse. I just don't know how to bring it up without sounding like I am boasting and I also asked the primary school to keep it quiet as I didn't want him getting negative or positive attention. Part of me was concerned that if I told her then she may mention it to someone else in passing.

So how do I tell her without upsetting her. I adore her and I feel really crap for letting it get this far.

izzywizzywoowooo Thu 30-Dec-10 01:22:06

If she is a real friend Then she will support you in your decision even though she may not agree with it. I thought that is what friends do? hmm

pippop1 Thu 30-Dec-10 01:24:32

OK. I understand a little of this as my son got a scholarship to the best private school in the area at 11. People had asked me if he was trying for the school and I had given a vague answer without actually lying.

In your case I think you should be honest with your friend and just say that you were very worried about telling her that you were even applying as you weren't sure how she'd react. You thought that you would wait until you knew if he did get a bursary as you were pretty sure that he wouldn't. Also say that her friendship is important to you and last thing that you'd want is to hurt her or upset her in any way.

I'd actually leave it until she asks you, if that's at all possible and then, immediately, tell the truth and how you hope this won't spoil a beautiful friendship. Then give her a bit of space for a day or two and with any luck all will be OK.

AgentZigzagGotAGoodGoosing Thu 30-Dec-10 01:27:33

I would say that if she has taken such a hard line on private schools, to the point of making you feel uncomfortable telling her, it's her problem you haven't told her.

That goes for her being 'upset' at your DS being offered a bursary, it's got fuck all to do with her.

If she doesn't want to be your mate anymore, that would be her choice and you'd be better off knowing how shallow she is.

It's possible that she wont react as badly as you think she will, sometimes when you tell someone something you think they wont like, it turns out they don't feel as strongly as you thought they might, possibly because talking about things in general is totally different to talking about things happening to someone you know and like.

Debretts Thu 30-Dec-10 01:27:53

The reason I am not so sure is because I did tell some family members and a few of them are really against it, especially my father. I also mentioned it to another friend who lives in a different county and doesn't know my friend and I found out she said a few nasty things about my son and the school to one of my SIL's friends. Since I told her she has been very cold with me so that is why I am worried.

If she does not support me then she is not a real friend but I do value her friendship and I am very fond of her and her kids.

LittlePushka Thu 30-Dec-10 01:31:41

Just tell her exactly what you just told us! I completely understand your reticence - to risk alienating a great friend because of your life choices is a difficult position for you. But ultimately she just needs to know that you have played it this was because you value her and did not want to to upset her, but if you have then it has been wholly unintentional.

There was something really big I kept from my best friend for a week or so, for the best of reasons once. When i did tell her, I prefaced it with "you know I love you like a sister and would never do anything to hurt you...? Well there is something I have kept from you because I thought it was right. If you feel I was wrong then I have misjudged and I am truly sorry. The thing is this... [ i explain the massive thing].

MadamDeathstare Thu 30-Dec-10 01:34:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ohyouknow Thu 30-Dec-10 01:35:38

You have to tell her if you respect her as a friend. She may not want anything to do with you once she knows that you have gone down the private route.

Just make a clean break as she'll want no more to do with you. Or she might not really care that much and still be your friend?

LittleMissHootsMon Thu 30-Dec-10 01:36:27

Congratulations to you and to your DS, I hope he'll be very happy in his new schoo;

What a fabulous opportunity, he must be one special little boy!

Stuff what other people think, say and do. That includes your family. Actually especially your family.

You want the best for your DS, this is something he wants too and to win a bursary? well that is just wonderful, it means the school thinks he'll be an asset to them too.

Tell your family that you are saddened that they can't be pleased for such a fantastic opportunity for a dear member of their family, and that you think slightly less of them as a consequence.

this is your business, and not anyone elses. As long as your DS is happy there, and thrives that is really all that matters.

Again, congratulations, bloody well done!

Debretts Thu 30-Dec-10 01:43:29

You have all been so kind. I feel embarrassed to admit that I thought I might get a slating on here when I mentioned DS getting a bursary as I worry it sounds like boasting.

It all comes down to timing now. I think I should do it the second week in January as who finds out about awards during the Christmas week? What do you think?

What LittleMiss said. Congratulations to your clever son and congratulations to you for your hard work in encouraging and supporting him.

WELL DONE!

MadamDeathstare Thu 30-Dec-10 01:54:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LittleMissHootsMon Thu 30-Dec-10 01:59:43

jesus, I have nothing, not likely to be able to send my DS to a famous or even a private school, but there is always a chance of a bursary... You never know..

Stories like yours give others hope and I'm always delighted to hear good things happening to others. So if sharing your fantastic news is boasting, then boast away!!

I'M actally excited for you, and I don't even know you!!

This IS good news, GREAT news for your DS and your family, if anyone can't at least be pleased for you, then there is something wrong with them.

Enjoy the delight, the excitement and celebrate it as a family, then when it's back to work, just drop it into conversation.

Hey, well didn't want to say anything, in case it didn't come off, but DS got into XXXX (or is it XXXXXX?)grin on full bursary, isn't that GREAT?

It'd take a special kind of bastard to say, Actually No.

Anyone that does, you have full permission to drop, as they are not your friends

ChippingIn Thu 30-Dec-10 02:45:04

I really don't understand why you feel that telling us is boasting? If it was my child I would be thrilled and shouting it from the rooftops It's a great achievement in itself - even if we didn't take the place (I'm not keen on Private Schooling, but would judge the individual school against the other available options and then decide which is the best option at the time).

Do people really stop being friends with people over stupid shit like this? Really? Thank God my friends aren't so shallow. I couldn't be friends with someone who I would be worried about telling something like this and the reaction it would get - that's not friendship?!

Will he have to board?

TheFallenMadonna Thu 30-Dec-10 03:05:59

I disagree with using independent schools, but I have friends who send their children to them. We talk about the day to day stuff, and don't spend much time on the rights or wrongs. I won't tell them I think they are doing the right thing (I don't think they are!), but neither would I tell them they were doing the wrong thing, unless directly asked. And they are similarly courteous about my own choices.

Coralanne Thu 30-Dec-10 07:58:49

my DD went to a very exclusive private school. The head of her primary school was very upset when she heard that DD wasn't going to the same (private) school as the rest of the girls in the school.

I told her that if these girls were her true friends then they would remain friends. If they were friends because they happened to be at the same school well then it wouldn't matter if they went their separate ways.

They are all now mid twenties and she has remained friends with girls from both schools.

Her best friend (from the age of 4) was bridesmaid at DD's wedding.

I think the same applies to your friend. If she is truely your friend then it shouldn't matter that your children attend different schools.

Tell her as soon as possible and just explain that you didn't want anyone to know until you knew for sure that DS had obtained the bursery.

BubbaAndBump Thu 30-Dec-10 08:06:52

If it helps your perspective debretts I am totally against private education, and a very good friend is trying to send her DCs to one. She hasn't boasted about being able to afford one and a bursary hasn't come into the conversation yet. She knows how I feel, and, while I totally disagree with her opinions on the matter, I respect them as being their choices.

I would be sad if she felt she couldn't talk to me at all about her choice of school, but she also respects my opinions enough not to go on about it.

If I were your best friend, I would hope that you could talk to me about it now that you know the place is secure. The fact that your son has a bursary is neither here nor there if private education per se is what she disagrees with. Don't make that a big part of your discussion.

I would hedge your bets by saying something along the lines of "I know you and I have different views on education, but I hope that it won't come between us and our friendship as I really value it" - if she reacts like your other friend, then she's not a friend worth having.

Megatron Thu 30-Dec-10 09:25:40

If she's your friend she'll understand that what you want for your child is to be respected. I don't expect my friends to have exactly the same opinions as me on things. Tell her sooner rather than later and if she reacts negatively then I'm afraid maybe she's not such a good friend after all. Why should you feel embarrassed? You should be proud and not give a stuff if someone else disagrees. Well done to your son, that's brilliant for him.

beijingaling Thu 30-Dec-10 10:21:40

I'm absolutely amazed that someone would end a friendship over this kind of parenting choice! I'm even more amazed that you friend could possibly feel like this is some kind of personal slight. This is madness.

Just tell her straight out what you're planning on doing and that you know that you are close enough for this not to change your friendship but because you value her so much as a friend and you know her opinion you were worried about her reaction.

Congratulations btw. Don't let your friends reaction ruin a wonderful moment.

TheSecondComing Thu 30-Dec-10 11:08:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Stillcrackers Thu 30-Dec-10 16:06:46

I agree with everyone else on here.

This sounds a bit harsh but sorry - it's none of her business where you choose to send your child to school - just as it would be none of her business if you decided to become a Christian Scientist (assuming you aren't one already!!) or take up the flying trapeze without nets. She might have legitimate concerns but they would be HER concerns - not yours.

You have your opinions on the matter and she has a different opinion. Both are valid.

If she breaks the friendship over it - then I'm afraid that is her problem. I wouldn't be apologetic about - perhaps apologise for not coming straight out about it though.

I don't think you can tell her without the possibility of her being upset - you can't control other people's reactions - but you could explain that you value her friendship so much that you didn't want to potentially jeopardise it which is why you kept it quiet until you knew the outcome of the application - which is true after all.

Good luck!

TheVisitor Thu 30-Dec-10 16:09:31

Your child, therefore your business where he goes to school! She may be against private education, but it doesn't affect her personally. If she decides that she can't be your friend because of this, then she's very shallow.

mumto2andnomore Thu 30-Dec-10 16:15:45

Im very against private schools too but if I was your friend I would still be pleased for you if it was something you wanted.I have friends who send their children private and they know my feelings from way back before
we had children so we just steer clear of the topic now.

Just tell her!

waitwhat Thu 30-Dec-10 16:25:07

Ahhhh i can sympathise.
My son (8) has aspergers. we moved him to a private school; this year as he couldn't really cope in his old one.he needed extra help yet the school wouldn't provide it.
My godmother kindly pays for him to attend the new school and he has gone from a failing anti social troublemaker(his old heads words) to being one highest marked in his year, he could barely read aged 7 when he started in September but now he can read to his age and on his own. He also has friends now and is a social whirlwind.
Despite how well he is now doing an amazing amount of friends/family now view us badly for moving him, they call us snobby/elitist ect.
I've cut them out of his life now, my true friends and family watch his development and are thrilled for him.

Gah this post is long but i get ranty about this subject grin

MABS Thu 30-Dec-10 16:32:19

Agree with everything said, and well done to your clever ds.marvellous

If your friend ends a close friendship over schooling, I would question how good a friend she really was in first place However, I would tell her soon and myself, never good to hear 2nd hand.

My kids are at private school, my brother totally opposes, none of his business though I feel.

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