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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
He finds the people so unwelcoming. Because of all the good things we have heard about it- it was the school we choose last year. Now, seriously re-considering. Any one know if GWA or Bradenton would be more "friendly" for a Texas teen. Our son is a true expat- and ASD seems to be a lot of kids that have lived in Dubai their whole life, and not that nice. Can't decide if it is just my kid being a teenager, or if people are truly not nice.

I have to make some decisions to improve the quality of his life. He found ASD to be very "easy" compared to his jr high school and is making excellent grades. Is GWA or Bradenton going to prepare him for College? I am just stressing.
 

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A lot of what makes high school is your friend group,so has he made any buddies to hang out with and if he finds a girlfriend he will not want to go anyplace[lol].If he is into sports see what is offered so he can bond with his teammates.

Like you said it could be a teen thing,so look at other parts of his life,because it might be the same at the other school.
 

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One thing I don't like about US schools is that kids tend to grow up with one set of friends from grade 1 until they graduate.
When this happens their social skills diminish as there is no reason for the kid to try make new friends. and with today's technology unfortunately going out to make friends have become even more difficult as they can hide behind a monitor screen but they cannot have a face to face conversation any more.
Now I never say the kids cannot be mean, but I have seen a lot more mean kids in US. As the other poster suggested, look into his friends and look to see how many friends he has. It could very well be just a case of feeling left out.
 

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Hi, sorry to hear your son is not liking ASD.
I graduate from ASD a few years ago... and I arrived in grade 11, so I was a teenager and understand where he is coming from. At such a late age, it is very hard to make friends. But there are new students coming and going every year.
However, as the others have mentioned... find out his current friends situation/more about how he goes on at school. I also highly encourage him to join any sports teams or clubs... I was able to make friends when I joined the Varsity teams. Those became my good friends. ASD was the best decision my parents made for me as I got to experience and travel many places I never would have had the opportunity to do otherwise.
 

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Maybe this is a conversation you need to have with his teacher and not EF'ers. No one can tell you what your son will or will not like unless they know you personally. If you heard great things about ASD, then maybe it's your son and not the school.

First step has got to be to have a word with his teacher and find out what exactly is the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
He seems to have plenty of "friends"- he just finds them all "mean" - not necessarily to him. There was a boy that was bullying a girl- My son, came to her defense, and confirmed the behavior to the counselor. The counselor confirmed that there are many "parentlng problems" at ASD due to the nanny mentality. So, my son spoke up for the underdog, and it was not well received (as expected) by the bully. The boy is no longer bullying anyone overtly, but certainly is passively. My son has NEVER had any social problems at any of his other expat schools- but I think the problem with the kids at ASD is they are not "true" expats- most of them having lived their entire life in Dubai/Sharjah etc. He has been invited to parties, and he says they are "up to no good". Last week He was invited to MoE- to the mall, and one boy he was with, was knocking off everything on the Shelves- after the sales help asked him to stop- he said "it's your job to pick it up" My son was so embarrassed. There are so many examples of naughty kids.
I am just trying to find out if GWA or Bradenton is any more "open" to new people? And more true expats as found in other international assignments. My kid has a 4.0 average at ASD (he was a C student at his last school)- He says it is so easy, so I am not that impressed with the academics- but I have heard that ASD is the strongest academically in town. I just want to find NICE kids for my son to associate with. Of course, NOT ALL KIDS at ASD are bad- but the he hasn't found the "other group"- and he is involved in sports. I guess I just want someone to say- GWA is SO FRIENDLY_ come! ...haha... Thanks for listening to me vent. It's hard being a teenager, and probably more difficult to be the mom of one.

As parents, the first place we turned was his teachers, but they can't help. There is a huge group of kids that do not even eat lunch in the lunch room, as they are "scared and intimidated" by the kids who "own" the lunch room- and it's my son's least favorite time of day, because he never knows where to sit. It's stressful for us as his parents, as we want the last few years of HS to be -if not fun- at least -tolerable. He has found comfort at youth group at Church- but day to day at ASD is hell for him. I guess our best bet is to go visit other schools- he was accepted at everyone he applied for when we first got here- I'm hopeful we can find a better fit for him somewhere. Thanks for your input.
 

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This is a sweeping generalization but kids that have been raised in Dubai are spoiled little brats who know that their parents can "buy off" anything or anyone that they want or choose.

Bullying is unacceptable and if the school is turning a blind eye to it, then it really needs to be escalated to the authorities. I'm amazed that the teacher isn't doing anything about it but if your son continues to stand up for the under dog, he will soon be at the receiving end too. Perhaps the best option would be to change schools but if I were you, I'd make a big fuss about it first.

This spoiled behaviour seems to be the trend all over Dubai though. I watch some teenagers at the local Spinney's and their clothes and attitudes are just outrageous. They get away with it though because their parents are practically non-existent.

My neighbour just bought her 6 year old son a kid's version of a motorbike. The boy has already crashed into our wall and both him and his brother have taken a good tumble with it in less than one week. I've instructed my son to not get on that bike but now he's the outcast riding his bicycle alone while all other children are fascinated with this new bike! Apparently the mother wants to make her son "smart". The guys don't shower for a week at a stretch, but they know how to ride a bike! Wonderful parenting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The School DID try to address it- but the kid actually said to my son: "My parents on on the Board, so I will never be expelled"...and what he was doing to the girl was just really cruel. The boy was a "friend" to my son, and my son asked him several times to stop being mean- and the boy was hot and cold with my son. When the girl told the counselor that my boy was trying to come to her aid - the counselor asked to speak to my son - and asked him if this boy was really bothering the girl as she said he was. My son confirmed, and well...that was that. Now- the Bully Boy told all their mutual friends- you are are either on MY team- or you can talk to my boy- but you can't do both....so my son is on the outs with the boys he feels he "fits in with". I think my son does need a "do over" ...as he can't seem to get past this kid. But yes, Spoiled Brats. My son has had a strong moral based education, and ASD just ain't cutting it. And, to be fair- they are NOT preparing these Dubai kids for school in America- they are going to be in for rude awakening when they get there for college. I have heard that many of these life-long "American-North American Passport holders" have lots of problems adjusting when they move to the states. I honestly, don't think it is my kid...but a problem with the school....but I am wondering if we will find any better. I guess it is worth a shot, as he is so unhappy, and we have given it a year. We hoped it would be better this school year, and it is...a bit. But...it's still not "good".
 

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I am also an American and the problems you are talking about are happening there with kids who are getting bullied killing themselves,so that is not only a UAE problem.There are good kids and bad kids in every school and it sound like your son made one friend,the girl he stuck up for.

The kids who are not eating in the lunch room are the kids who are not seen as cool,but I would bet they are the kids doing the right things.

Like any kids Dubai or the States Kids will push the limits when they know there is not going to be consequences and if ASD is afraid to enforce rules because of a students parents they should be taken to task,but in our country school systems are also afraid to enfoce rules a lot of times since they will get sued by wealthy parents or if its a private school they don't want to lose the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am afraid that I won't find a better school situation. I substituted at ASD, GWA Jebel Ali, JESS and DESS..and several other schools- I have been a teacher for over 30 years, and I can tell you- the children here are very disrespectful. We are Texans' and I am used to the Yes Mam' code of honor...and my favorite discipline tactic has always been "would your parents be proud of that behavior?"...they really don't care here.

Yes- my son says that the kids not eating in the cafeteria are "not the popular people"...but he doesn't care- at least they are kind. It just breaks my heart that he cannot enjoy this exciting adventure to it's fullest. We do have a great family life, so...we will just grin and bare it I suppose. Thanks for confirming my fears! Sucks.....
 

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You know the non-popular kids and the girl your son stuck up for invite them over for a party or some kind of social get togther because they also want to live life to the fullest and they might have been outcast for doing the right thing like your son.

No disrescpect to you and it nice to see you and you friends are teaching good values,but there are many Texans that don't say yes mam.I have traveled for a long time and it comes down to the parents and we have are share of bad parents in the States just like every place else.
 

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He finds the people so unwelcoming. Because of all the good things we have heard about it- it was the school we choose last year. Now, seriously re-considering. Any one know if GWA or Bradenton would be more "friendly" for a Texas teen. Our son is a true expat- and ASD seems to be a lot of kids that have lived in Dubai their whole life, and not that nice. Can't decide if it is just my kid being a teenager, or if people are truly not nice.

I have to make some decisions to improve the quality of his life. He found ASD to be very "easy" compared to his jr high school and is making excellent grades. Is GWA or Bradenton going to prepare him for College? I am just stressing.
I can totally relate usually old schools have old students and they already have groups and so on. I would definitely recommend Bradenton Prep Academy, very friendly students and amazing staff and many of the students are new to Dubai plus most of the students are new this year and from different nationalities and very well rounded definitely not spoiled brats my brother studies there and he loves it so much. I would say move him now the deadline for moving students internally was early November so you've still got time. Can I ask what grade your son is in? As for the difficulty do not worry about it I studied at UAS; Universal American School (in Dubai festival city) however now it is very full so I doubt you'd find places but most of the people in my grade went abroad to universities in the state and UK and none of us faced any problems and already graduates now so I would say don't worry about that those who face problems are the ones who go to schools that do not follow an american curriculum. School is meant to be the time of his life so don't let him stay at a place he does not feel comfortable in.
 

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The problem with today's society is that kids don't learn how to defend themselves, they don't learn how to fix their own problems, the don't become thinkers. The thinkers that they need to be in order to survive in the future society.

This can be taken so many different ways and I don't mean that your son should go around and punching everyone in the fave to protect himself. But what is HiS solution to all this? Changing school means running away from something that bothers him. What will happen 10-20-30 years from now? How will he handle problems?

You said you were a teacher in Texas with many years of experience, I wish you had seen teachers from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas..... Ask them if they are respected in the classroom at all. See how are the kids behaving in the private school where their parents are on the board. Spoiled rotten kids.
See how the kids are in public schools? I just don't want you to paint a rose garden for US school system. What you are describing in an epidemic problem.

Just keep this in mind, school is preparing kids for their future, their life. What you show them, how you handle them, will hugely impact their future and how they deal with problems. And it will be same way as it was dealt before, by running away from it?????

Most of us didn't go to the top notch schools but with hard work and extra effort we ended up in good universities and got the finest education.

Tell your son to create his own bubble, in that bubble are his family, only his good friends, his education, his plans for future. Only positive things that he can control. Whatever he cannot control stay out of bubble.
 
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