Families

Tips for Parents

In giving your daughter the gift of a Miss Hall’s School education, you have invited the skilled and experienced teachers and staff at the School to join you in ensuring that your daughter is both challenged and nurtured in ways that will allow her to reach her potential. We value the opportunity to partner with parents in this important work. To that end, the following are tips for parents of boarding and day students. 

Tips for Boarding Parents (click each tip to read more)

List of 8 items.

  • Stay in touch, but not too much.

    Your daughter will be more successful if you let her experience her new independence. Avoid “touching base” several times a day (though texting makes this tempting.) One way to manage communication is to have set times during the week when you and your daughter agree to email, Skype, or talk by phone. Don’t forget real letters and care packages. Let her know by your correspondence that she remains a daily part of your lives.
  • Don’t worry if she doesn’t stay in touch with you.

    Getting involved is what boarding school is all about. Academics, sports, clubs, and down time with friends keep MHS students busy. It is usually a good sign when girls are not calling home every day. It means that they are developing independence and deeply involved in their work and activities.
  • Keep your communications upbeat.

    Do not tell your daughter that you sit in her empty bedroom weeping or that the dog hasn’t been the same since she left. All of that may be true, but if you want her not to feel guilty or think that she must rush home to comfort you, tell her how proud you are of her beginning this adventure and how lucky she is to have this time for herself. 
  • Don’t solve your daughter’s problems.

    You can expect calls or emails when things aren’t going well. When your daughter calls and she’s upset, be sympathetic but keep the focus on her. Allow her the opportunity to envision solutions for herself. We recommend this rule of thumb: When your daughter calls with a problem, respond with a question and keep responding with questions until she either resolves the issue or has a plan for going forward. Suggestions: “I can tell you’re upset. What do you think you should do?  What seems like a good first step? What would you like to see happen? Who is your best resource right now?” Remind her that she has a “personal team” at Miss Hall’s who are ready and willing to help her through these challenges. 
  • Share basic life skills.

    Give your daughter a crash course in laundry, cleaning, money management, and packing before she arrives on campus. We will help her with study skills, time management, and even with her finances once she arrives, but a few tips from you will start her off on the right foot.
  • Agree on a monthly allowance.

    Your daughter will have a Mira Card, which is a debit account system. Costs for supplies and weekend activities are “charged” against this account. You and your daughter need to agree in advance on the amount of discretionary money she will have to spend and plan for how to make the best choices about spending.
  • Get to know your daughter’s roommate and friends.

    When you pick up or drop off your daughter at school, take the opportunity to say hello to her friends. Weekends and holidays are also opportunities for students to visit in each other’s homes and get acquainted with each other’s families and customs. Know that the friends your daughter makes at Miss Hall’s will be part of her life forever.
  • Let your daughter know you believe in her.

    The most powerful message we can give a girl is, “I know you can do this.” By signaling your confidence in your daughter, you give her permission to have confidence in herself, adjust to change, learn from mistakes, and develop independence. Success in meeting the challenges of boarding school is a huge step toward her believing that she can manage future challenges. 

Tips for Day Parents (click each tip to read more)

List of 7 items.

  • Stay in touch.

    Although your daughter is not physically moving out of the house, you may begin to feel that she sometimes moves away emotionally. Do not despair. Getting involved is what Miss Hall’s is all about. Academics, sports, clubs, and down time with friends keep MHS students busy, and they are also figuring out who they are and learning to stand on their own. Some girls stay connected through this phase, and some need more distance. Give you daughter the space she needs, but let her know you are there if she needs to talk.
  • Don’t lose confidence in your ability to parent.

    Adolescent girls can become very assertive as they are trying on various roles. As parents, we can be caught off guard by how forceful our daughters have become. It is an adolescent’s job to challenge. It is a parent’s job to keep the “walls” firm. Teenagers are trying to cope with so many changes occurring within them that they need to know they can depend on us to know where the limits are.
  • Support us in raising the bar.

    We do a girl no favor when we let her sleep in, show up late, or duck out early. Preparing a girl well for college and life includes expecting her to follow through on all her commitments. When your daughter has a problem, be sympathetic but keep the focus on her. Resist the temptation to rescue her, but instead encourage her to envision solutions for herself. 
     
  • Share basic life skills.

    It is time to take stock of how many of the basic everyday tasks you are doing for your daughter. Management of her schedule, time, room, laundry, and money should be moving over into her column. You can still do acts of kindness for your daughter, but encourage her to take ownership of these responsibilities now, to prepare her for the future.
  • Agree on a monthly allowance.

    Your daughter will have a Mira Card, which is a debit account system. Costs for supplies and weekend activities are “charged” against this account. You and your daughter need to agree in advance on the amount of discretionary money she will have to spend and plan for how to make the best choices about spending.
  • Get to know your daughter’s friends.

    When you pick up or drop off your daughter at school, take the opportunity to say hello to her friends. Weekends and holidays are also opportunities for students to visit in each other’s homes and get acquainted with each other’s families and customs. Know that the friends your daughter makes at Miss Hall’s will be part of her life forever.
  • Let your daughter know you believe in her.

    The most powerful message we can give a girl is, “I know you can do this.” By signaling your confidence in your daughter, you give her permission to have confidence in herself, adjust to change, learn from mistakes, and develop independence. Success in meeting the challenges of a college preparatory school is a huge step toward her believing that she can manage future challenges. 
Finally, cheer from the sidelines. This is her race, not yours. 
492 Holmes Road • Pittsfield, MA 01201  (413) 443-6401

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Located in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, Miss Hall's School is an all girls private, college preparatory boarding and day high school for grades 9-12.
© Copyright 2017 Miss Hall's School