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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Derin's Mom

Struggling with homesickness

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katesy2

Not unlike GradefulMom, I moved to Paris as a 22 year-old financial analyst and also found the language and cultural barriers very challenging.  Here are some additional thoughts for you:  

1) Make sure your daughter understands that the situation she is in is very very difficult, and it would be an incredible challenge for anyone.  In other words, she should try not feel any personal weakness or lack of confidence from the struggle. Big challenge means tremendous learning and growth.  Along those lines, I heard David Halberg's autobiography discusses how hard his year training in Paris was - maybe that's worth checking out?  

2) Consider having her focus on getting through just one academic year (v. the rest of school, life, etc.) and treating the experience as a year abroad, once in a lifetime experience.  I'd have her make a bucket list of everything she would like to see and do in Paris and France during this year.  This will give her much to look forward to and will keep her busy when there is downtime, and it will also help her feel more connected with her new home. Is she on Instagram?  That would be a fun way for her to chronicle all her sightseeing and new experiences for friends and family back home, as well as new friends she meets in Paris. 

3) Are there any parent connections you can make with expats in Paris?  When I moved to Europe, I joined my college alumni association and a few other groups aimed at American expats, and that was a great way to meet people and get advice on how to assimilate.  Maybe you could join such a group on her behalf in order to see if there are expat families with kids your daughter's age she could connect with.  Expat communities are really wonderful, and expat kids are always looking to make more friends and have connections to home.

Best of luck to your daughter and to you.  I'm sure it will end up being an amazing time in the end!

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Derin's Mom

I want to address you all in one post.

Thank you very much for the support. So many concrete advices and suggestions, so many emotional support. I listed them all and act on them.

Her room is very cosy and we made it home as much as possible on the first day. Many pictures, her favorites stuffy toys, very handy kitchenette and bathroom, books from home etc etc. She is happy with her space as she says.

For language, I trust her to gather it very soon, she is fortunate that she is talented in language. Everyone speaks French around her so I think it is only a matter of time. Her uncle and his family is a good support in academic issues as well; maths, history etc.

This is her 3rd week, and I guess things will be more settled.

One thing she mentioned yesterday stroke me. I was avoiding to talk about our daily life and how we cope up without her here, what we do etc but she suddenly said; "if you lose a beloved one, what do you do mom, do you avoid talking about her/him or cherish her with good memories and talk about them? I need to feel that we are connected." She is only 14 and suddenly she seemed so grown up. So, I said yes, if you want it that way I will definitely tell more about us.

 

PS: and yes to a question, I am from Turkey.

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mom2

What a mature soul she is!  Sounds like she's going to do just fine.  

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Derin's Mom

Thank you. Your support means a lot to me as well.

I will be delighted to give cheerful messages in a short while as well.

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Eligus

Derin'sMom -- your DD sounds lovely, and it sounds as if you are doing an excellent job of listening to her and providing what she needs.  That is fantastic... what a good mom.

Keep in mind for yourself (as you too are going through a hard time) that teenagers can rant and cry about deep issues that are bothering them.  But sometimes, all they need is an empathetic ear and emotional support during that time.  Once they receive that, and have expressed their worries, they are FINE and they quickly move on and their mood changes (right after they hang up the phone 😏... it's the parents who then worry, late into the night, thinking about all their child has said, and wondering whether or not the child is okay.  In the vast majority of instances, the kids are FINE... it takes the parents longer to adjust and move on than it takes them.  If you ever had a child cry at school or daycare drop off, the experience is very similar... usually within 5 minutes of the new environment, the child is happily playing and moved on while the parent is distraught.  As you said in your earlier posts, it takes time, but adjustment will happen.  Keep repeating to her and yourself  that "this, too, shall pass."  

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Derin's Mom

Oh thank you. Ballet moms are always good 🙂

You are correct, and I also know that she was feeling moody even when she was with us as well. So, we have to sort out the real issues from minors.

Thanks a lot.

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