Wry Exchange

Would You Want to Know?
12-07-08, 3:28 am
Filed under: Exchange Students | Tags: ,

  If you were a parent of an exchange student, would you want to know if your child violated a serious rule, or broke the law in a foreign country?   Assuming it’s not serious enough that she’ll be sent home, do you really want to know?

Would you want to know your daughter was on her knees in a store window?  Would you want to know if your son tried coca leaves in the Andes?  What if she tried special brownies  in Amsterdam?  Would you want to know if your son likes mushrooms as much as you did at his age?    How about if Snowflake gets so drunk he passes out on a bus/train/subway and misses his stop by an hour or two?  (happens every year.)

Where do you draw the line?  Scuba diving? Sightseeing in a Cessna? Driving a snowmobile?   Do you want to know about the bungee jumping,  fake ID, or sneaking out of the house?  

I’ve been asking people their opinions.   Most people have told me they’d rather not know.  I was surprised, because I like to know everything.   I understand the other side now, as one woman told me she’d rather not worry about something she couldn’t help.

I am a firm believe in “Better living through modern chemistry.”  Momma likes her pills.  I have prescriptions for them, so they’re ‘medication,’ not drugs.  I think life is full of grey areas, and perhaps some stories should be left for later when they become charming anecdotes of misguided youth.  Like the time when I…


4 Comments so far
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never did anything bad. including anything u listed……haha…ha

uggg i miss the exchange soooooo much

Comment by M

Yes I do want to know. Perhaps not right after it happens (give me time to realize it ended up ok after all so don’t freak out Mom) but at some point before my kid is too old to ground for life and but still be teachable. I know I was well out of the house and college before I confessed a few of my lesser accomplishments to my mom. Even then I made sure I was out of arm’s reach. 🙂 I do have the benefit of my kid’s trust to “be cool about the big stuff, but go nuts about the little stuff that drives me crazy.”

I have a pact with my exchange kids that what happens here stays here, unless they choose to tell their natural parents what they get up to here.

Comment by ARHostmom

I’m caught in the middle here. I’ll protect the Inbounds who are honest with me, and sorry for making a mistake. The ones who lie, and are only sorry they were caught have no sympathy.
The students who are in other countries will tell me about their adventures when they get back home safe.
But when my counterpart calls me to say Snowflake tests positive for anything, I say to Snowflake “you tell your parents, or I tell your parents.”

Comment by Wry

Being the coordinator puts you on a different level of responsibility than me as the host mom. My returned kids are surprised how much more laid back with them I am AFTER they return. When I’m no longer responsible for seeing them returned in good condition, I can be more relaxed (and see more humor) with them and their adventures.

My hope is to be as relaxed when my natural son goes on his exchange at 16. I have 2 years left to work on that. 🙂

Comment by ARHostmom

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