A difficult decision has been reached, and your family knows it is best for all involved, particularly your child. Yes, you have decided to send your child to a boarding school.
This will be the first time that your child will spend an extended amount of time away from you and the family and you are not really sure where to begin to make sure he or she is prepared for what is about to come.
You have done your homework, picked the right boarding school, and your child is actually excited to go. But as the parent, you are understandably anxious and want to make sure that all possible preparations have been made to ensure that your child has the best chance to learn and grow.
Here are two critical areas of discussion for you to have with your child to make sure they are prepared for boarding school.
Do Some Last-Minute Bonding
Once your child leaves, there is a good chance that you may not see your child for weeks or even months. Use the time you have now for some last minute bonding sessions. How about going out to dinner as a family, and having a heart to heart talk having a heart to heart talk about how proud you are for your child reaching this level of independence. If the boarding school has a focus like science sports or the arts, talk up how special your child is and how well your child has done to make it into the school.
Also, talk at length about your expectations of their behavior and conduct when they are away from home and go over the rules of the school and the campus. You should place specific responsibilities on them and tell them that you will not expect to be disappointed. Do this however in a loving rather than authoritarian way.
Encourage your child to tell you how they feel about the school and leaving home. What are they most looking forward to? What are they afraid of? What will they miss most? What have they heard about going away to school and going to this school in particular? Be a good and patient listener and let your child have the time needed to emote.
Finally, talk about how much you will miss your child and how you will visit or bring them home every opportunity and that you are only a phone call away whenever they need you. This talk will run the gamut of emotions for everyone there from proud, to sad, to happy, and it will allow you all to bond around the goals you have for the school experience and as a family.
Create Systems for Your Child
This is a great time to work on organizational skills, mainly if your child is weak in this area. Your child will have to be responsible for getting up on time, getting dressed, eating breakfast, making it to classes on time, and staying focused on school work, as well. Part of doing this efficiently and consistently is being organized and coming up with systems and schedules for doing things.
This includes studying, where to place school books, so they don’t get lost, washing clothes, keeping track of any money they have, and managing their free time. Make a list of everything your child will need at school and create a system around where it goes and how it is to be used. Do not leave much room for guessing or you should expect that your child will not be as effective as possible. Work together and compensate for any weaknesses your child may have, with structure.
Focus on being supportive no matter the topic and keep in mind that your child is probably more nervous than you. Remember, Besant Hill boarding school does a great job at helping students adapt, so if there is a need, you can count on their assistance in helping your child to be successful.