Nuclear families and the pressures of inflation these days often forces both the partners in a relationship (married or otherwise) to work. Most likely, they leave for work in the morning and return home by late noon or evening. In such circumstances, it becomes difficult to devote time to bringing up children.
People often rely on nannies, inlaws, baby sitters, and so on to take care of the children until they can get home. Again, these cannot be permanent solutions. A nanny may quit or relocate elsewhere. A babysitter may hit your child. And grandparents, with their gradually aging bodies, may or may not be up to the daunting task of looking after boisterous children.
Besides this, if there’s the possibility of frayed tempers, frequent arguments between you and your partner, for whatever reasons, it can affect your child’s psyche subconsciously.
These are just some instances that make the case for sending a child to a boarding school. There could be many other reasons.
What can a boarding school offer?
Boarding schools have many advantages. For example, all children get equal attention and go through the same routine. Students are usually kept occupied by means of a well-balanced daily routine in academics, theatre, arts, sports, and other co-curricular activities. There can be greater bonding between the teachers and students in a boarding school than in a day school. The best part of living in a boarding school is that students are taught to be independent and to be responsible for their own needs. They learn to look out for themselves; this is a life skill that will aid them throughout their life.
Boarding schools often hire well-qualified teachers with professional and advanced degrees in their subjects. Many boarding schools also include amazing sports facilities. Some schools have library facilities which are better equipped than those at many colleges.
When to admit the child into a boarding school?
Experts suggest that the best age to admit your child to a boarding school is around seven to nine years. After the initial period of homesickness that a child experiences in entering a boarding school, the gradual transformation in the child will become visible and the outcome is often positive. The child will learn to assert himself/herself, make new friends, and learn new pursuits.
Boarding schools can be tough on children are sensitive or who find it difficult to blend in. One has to be tough to survive the assembly line culture that’s prevalent at boarding schools. There are also adjustment issues to deal with once your child is back home, after years at a boarding school. He/she may a bit aloof and distant, which is understandable considering the years that were spent away from home. The child becomes conditioned to be detached. Don’t mistake the aloofness for coldness. Just give it some time.
There may also be rare cases of violence and abuse happening in a boarding school.
Educate your child about the dangers of abuse and tell them to stay alert and safe. Talk to them frequently over the phone, Skype, or Hangout.
Be alert to any mood changes or any complaints. If your child insists on coming back home, it could be a distress call. Ascertain the reason behind it.
Conclusion? To send or not?
The bottom line, it is a personal decision to send a child to a boarding school.
Evaluate all factors and see what will work best for your child. And if you do send, remember to let your child know the reasons and rationale behind it.
Initially, there may be hurt and resentment but if you explain logically and gently, assuring the child that you don’t love him or her any less just because you are sending them away, the child will probably understand in due course of time.
Be in regular touch with the child and teachers.
A few choices are
- The Doon School, Dehradun
- St Paul’s School, Darjeeling
- Scindia School, Gwalior
- Mayo College, Ajmer
- Maharani Gayatri Devi School, Jaipur
- Bishop Cotton School, Shimla
- New Era School, Panchgani
- Welham Boys and Welham Girl’s School, Dehradun
- La Martiniere College (Kolkata and Lucknow)
- Montfort Anglo Indian School, Yercaud
- Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun
- Campion Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu
- Jain International Residential School, Jakkasandra Post, Kanakapura Taluk, Bangalore
- The Peepal Grove School, Gongivari Palli, Andhra Pradesh