Boarding school without tears

2014-01-23 00:00

TAKE care not to be over-enthusiastic about the joys of boarding. In a very real sense, your child is leaving home and will be suspicious if you wax too lyrical while he or she is dealing with loss as well as anticipation. If you were a boarder, remember that some of your memories will have been distorted by time. You may also be feeling nervous for your child and try to over-compensate for this anxiety by idealising boarding. When talking about the entry into boarding and consequent delights, stick to what you really know about what is to come — both the delights and challenges. A matter-of-fact tone goes a long way.

• Make sure that your child knows when he or she will see the family again. Some boarding schools have a policy of no contact and no cellphones for a designated period of time. The child should have a clear sense of how long this period will be and some idea of what the family will be engaged in during the no-contact period.

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