Dear Queen Bonoba,
My daughter detests going to a very good high school with children of highly accomplished professionals and high test scores and college entry rates. She also requires constant nagging to keep her room nice. She wastes hours each week talking on the phone with friends who are going nowhere. If she continues on this path, she’ll never graduate from a decent college. Do you have any advise?
For starters, it may be that the school you consider a good one is not a good school for your daughter. It may, in fact, be the kind of school that will retard her blossoming.
I have been impressed with the way some of the new “small schools” in the Milwaukee Public School System, e.g. Project Stay, the New School for Community Service, the Alliance School, and others, have developed programs and a spirit that supports authentic learning for bohemian and creative youth stunted in more bureaucratic educational systems.
Give your daughter control over her own room unless health hazards or finances prevent it. Be careful in passing judgement on her friends.
Phone talk is part of a young person’s vital friendship connections. Trust your daughter’s deepest self, unless her behavior becomes very obviously self-destructive.
It would not hurt to talk with a family therapist not just about your daughter’s “issues,” but about the entire family scene.
We all have issues! You would be astonished at the provacative and imbecilic behavior savannah baboons tolerate for harmony’s sake.
Goethe, I’m told, hypothesized the earth as the insane asylum of the universe.
In the way that I pray you are in my prayers,