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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Leaving host family mid year?

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I am hoping you wise people on Ballet Talk will help me.

My kids are very happy in their prepro.  They are learning and have a great peer group.

The host family is a group of lovely people.  They are wonderful people that we knew from before coming to the school.  The whole family is darling and the house is amazing.  I did not realize until we signed up just how far away they live though, so that is my big, huge bad.  I thought because other kids handled it, it would be okay.  Her kids do not dance as much as mine do though. Also, I did not know until recently that there is tension between this family and the school director.

There are a couple of red flags and issues that I won't go into, but I am concerned and the director of our school has asked me to move them.  When I mentioned this to her, it resulted in huge drama (her calling director angrily, giving me big time guilt, telling other parents what was happening) that left me stunned.  Now I REALLY want to move them.  The well being of kids comes first.  Please keep in mind, the red flags are not about the host family or their character, is more about logistics and priorities,  and hours of sleep, time for study and making it to class on time.  It IS hurting my kids.  My kids do LIKE them very much though.   But put it this way, my son, who was a straight A st udent, is now a solid C/D student.  

I don't want to lose this person as a friend, and definitely do not want to cause drama, but my mother has offered to come out and take care of the kids.  My employer will also allow me to work remote.  We can make this situation better.

In hindsight, I SHOULD have made this more of a "let's try this out" thing.  I admit, I did this wrong.

What is a good way to back out of a host family situation gracefully?   Pay them off?  Staying part time.  If you were a host family, what would you expect?   My DKs are good friends with their DKs.  I want this to be a win/win., but I want them out.

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Can you just paint the picture of your mom really wanting to be there with the kids? Maybe include that your son's grades are suffering being away from home and he just needs more assistance than 'is reasonable to expect' from them given they have their own children to worry about?

You are in a tough spot and sometimes friendships get dinged and can not fully repair.  

Edited by Noodles
Adding more detail
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Is there a room & board contract with the host family?  If so, then you should be responsible for the full amount of the fee outstanding—unless they can replace the dancers with someone else.  In which case, you’d only be responsible for the monthly or pro-rated fee between your children leaving and the new boarders appearing.

If you don’t have an actual contract, I would still offer to “make whole” the financial aspect of the agreement. 

Other than that, simply impress upon your friend that it is really a matter of your children not adapting well to the change and that it will be easier for them if your mother and you are responsible for them.  Family is always a better option at that age than living with friends or strangers.  

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It sounds like you've landed in the middle of a mess. I'm not sure there is any graceful way out, especially since somehow the director of the school has gotten involved (which is the red flag for me, but that's not what you asked...).

I think I would leave it at, "My boss was able to arrange it so that I am now able to move down there. This is such good news for us, as now we can all be together as a family."

I'd pay them whatever you had arranged through December and then call it that.

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Thanks guys!  There was no contract, so yes I can make it about my good news and my mom and just suck it up and offer to pay up.  

Fuddyduddy, yes to me the relationship between the school director and the family is a red flag for me too.  

I am aware of 2 other families who have switched host families already, but it was drama free.  In one case the kid wasn't happy, in another, the host family wasn't happy.  Our host family is new to hosting.  I feel awful.  I wish it worked.

For anyone in the future, please learn from my mistake and please always have a clean way out in case it doesn't work!


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  • 1 month later...

Just curious if everything worked out nynydancer? I'm looking at residential programs for next year for my daughter so sucking up any and all advice and experience I can find.

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It worked out!  A combination of paying a couple of extra months even though he moved out and really stressing the school thing helped. I think my learning is to have agreement in advance on how to handle in case it is not a good fit for either party. 

Good luck!

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