Single Sex Education for Teens

by Ellen
(Vail, Colorado)

" A Teen Finds Her Voice Through Single Sex Education" by Ellen.

My daughter was in the spring of her eighth grade academic year at a private school where we lived in Colorado, when one day she said to me, "Mom, I think boys are going to be a problem. They try to steal my thunder!"

As sole parent of both she and her brother since they were toddlers, my entire life goal was to support the success of their development.

Within a week we were touring girls boarding schools (along with options for her brother, who is sixteen months her junior) on the East coast. While all three she applied to accepted her, there was one in particular I had in mind as a fit. Her response to me was " Mom, YOU just want to SAY I'll go there, but it's not where "I" fit. She accepted her invitation as a ninth grade boarder at a school in a suburb of Boston. I was unwilling at that point of her development to let go of our close relationship, disrupt our unit of three, let alone cease my favorite job to date as parent, especially during these important developmental years .Therefore,I rented an apartment nearby, and her brother found his fit at a local boys boarding school.

That fall she was elected President of her class, played three Varsity sports, and became a Peer Educator. This was an assisted teaching program where she taught a Forum to Peers on Values, Moral, and Codes of Conduct. She went onto being accepted for the exchange program in Australia the following year, continued all of her sports, was appointed dorm Proctor for two years, along with varied other leadership positions including working with the admissions staff and new candidates for the school. As a talented vocalist, sang in the school Chamber Singers, which afforded her the opportunity to sing the National Anthem TWICE at Fenway Stadium. The group went onto perform throughout Greece during a Spring break, and produce a CD. During her summers,she traveled internationally to perform community service, and was accepted into a Women in Leadership Institute at one of the Seven Sisters Colleges.

When she graduated this past month, earning honors that year,awarded all School Athlete, named MVP in her sports league for New England, along with three years prior of honorable mention, eagerly she looks forward to moving into her freshman year at a Women's College.

To say I was proud would be an understatement. I was validated that I made the right decision in REALLY hearing her back in eight grade. Supporting her in finding her voice allowed her to develop into the natural leader she is, with an esteem she may not have realized otherwise.

In an era where teens are so challenged by outside influences, as parents remain on their own agendas, perhaps more of us ought to really hear what our children are telling us. The benefits are beyond description for me to be that one person my children can count on,no matter what. It's not only my responsibility as a parent, moreover, a privilege.

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