Parent Perspective: Emily Risk - Midland School

Parent Perspective: Emily Risk

Want to know what it's really like to be the parent of a Midlander? Well, who better to tell you than our parents themselves! In this series, we’ll ask our students the tough questions about all things Midland, from academics to the growth they've seen. This is the Parent Perspective.

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Interview with Emily Risk, Parent of Taylor '23

Winter 2020

What’s it like being a parent to a teenager that goes to boarding school?

Boarding school has been amazing! My daughter is happy to go to school and happy to come home. When she is home it is truly quality time; she wants to see us and spend time together. She is more helpful than ever and appreciative, qualities I attribute to the Jobs Program.

Given this unique year where she has been distance learning we have had the opportunity to see how she has changed as a student. I am happy to say she has it handled, has a support system to go to when she needs help and she gets her stuff done. Is it done exactly how I would do it, not always, but she is figuring it out and gaining confidence in herself.

What advice do you have for parents who are worried about the image of “sending their child away” to boarding school?

One year at a time. We were very apprehensive of the boarding part of the school. In our discussions choosing which school to attend, we said the decision was not a four year one but rather a one year commitment. This seemed to take some pressure off. It is a really special opportunity to be able to live with your friends, cultivate your independence in a supper supportive community. There is no micro managing of your child’s life and they get to really own and learn from their success and failures. They can do it, and it is so empowering.

How has your child grown while at Midland?

She has a deeper awareness of her ability to help and has a drive to do just that, be that with household tasks, making masks for others or working to make the world a safer place for all to live in. I feel like the genuine opportunity to serve on a daily basis thanks to the Jobs Program has made a very positive impression. Her hard work is needed and appreciated every day, a fact that has helped her self confidence and sense of agency.

How did you know that Midland was right for your child?

I felt and still feel that Midland is the right place for my daughter because the philosophy of the school is a great fit with her personality. She is a hard worker who embraces needs vs. wants and I wanted her to be in a place that truly lives those values. Everyone we interacted with during the admissions process was genuine, kind and loving and this helped me emotionally cope with sending her away to school.

I believed at the beginning that she was going to be well loved and looked after and in year three that still holds true without exception. It truly felt like Midland was the right school; the only hard part was the boarding bit. However, this turned out to be a blessing as I have been blown away by her independence and ability to do what is needed.

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