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Boarding schools for children under 11 is just wrong

(552 Posts)
babybarrister Thu 21-Mar-13 22:13:49

If I were PM for the day this would be on my to do list.
Children under 11 are too young and if their parents cannot look after them it should be raising serious alarm bells not generating slaps on the back for complying with an outdated tradition.

BoysAreLikeDogs Tue 04-Jun-13 18:12:41

Zombie thread

trinity0097 Tue 04-Jun-13 18:36:39

There are plenty of children in this country who would benefit hugely from the stability a boarding school could offer!

xylem8 Tue 04-Jun-13 19:51:10

I think things have to pretty fucked up for a child at home , before a boarding school becomes a good option and I would include under 16s in that not just under 11s.

BeeMom Tue 04-Jun-13 19:57:51

At 9, when I had a disagreement with my mother, she said she had rung my father and that I was going to be sent off to a boarding school.

She was quite upset that her threat did not make me immediately cower.

I was even more upset that she was lying. I would desperately have loved to have gone to a boarding school. Sometimes, children thrive in boarding schools because the consistency they receive there is the closest thing to parenting they have ever known.

doitinaminute Tue 18-Jun-13 23:59:03

Strange thread. if I was PM for a day I'd make it illegal to 'ban' any opportunity that might help a family. So to add to the mix...

If you might think you've missed out by boarding from a young age, remember you could have missed out on negative experiences - just as damaging - as well as positive.

I found boarding a life-line after being seriously bullied at my day school, and then also at home by unhappy parents. I don't think marriages are any easier now than then.

I'd get to school after a weekend and it would take about 24hrs to relax - the first night i'd be a mess, then gradually I was happy again, until after being at home for the weekend but at least I had the reassurance that this misery would go because I was at school and had discovered that 'the problem' wasn't me because I was fine - lots of friends, happy etc.

Any school can be damaging - my problems started with the day school - home was a good and caring one (just with divorcing parents but that not unusual!).

Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to stay boarding (perhaps because of attitudes like some of the ones on this thread) and returned to living at home and day school, deeply unhappy because I needed to be out of there and living my life, not exhausted by propping up my parents lives.
My parents were good - they did their best - but no one is perfect.

I don't think there are perfect families, just ones who survive and ones who don't - if boarding school helps yours survive (staying together, with identity, love and a future etc) how can that be a bad thing?

When parents split, often kids end up with more than one 'home' - and become 'emotional currency' for their parents not to mention step-parents. No one wants this to happen but it does.

cory Wed 19-Jun-13 07:26:18

m8 Tue 04-Jun-13 19:51:10
"I think things have to pretty fucked up for a child at home , before a boarding school becomes a good option and I would include under 16s in that not just under 11s."

So what would you do with e.g. small fishing communities on remote islands that are too small to sustain a secondary school? Ban them from having children? Or let the children go without education?

vixsatis Wed 19-Jun-13 09:27:44

It's a shame my son (boarding from 8, now 12) is in school: he could write a pretty balanced answer to this. I think he would say:
1. I was really homesick to start with and cried whenever I had to go back; but the people at school were very very kind and I never ever thought my parents had abandoned me. I understood why I was going to boarding school because we talked about it
2. By the end of my first term I had friends, wanted to be headmaster when I grew up and thought that Christmas at school was like being at Hogwarts.
3. The holidays are really long and I see my parents about 2 weekends out of three. Boarding makes us all appreciate one another more.
4. I'm an only child. Boarding gives me friends who are like brothers
5. I like having friends from all over the world
6. Sometimes I would like a bit more privacy and peace and quiet
7. Both my parents work, not because either of them likes the job much but because they believe in hard work and self-reliance. I appreciate the financial stability this gives us. I like school far more than having a nanny.
8. We live in London. I have far more freedom to roam around the school grounds than I would around the streets where we live.
9 The food is absolutely diabolical
10 The school showers are rubbish
11I am getting an excellent education; but neither the school nor the parents are as pushy as they were in my London school
12 There is only one boy in my year of 60 (54 of whom board) who is really unhappy

KellyElly Wed 19-Jun-13 10:16:52

I went to boarding school at 9 (prep) and then boarded at a different school from 11. I loved boarding at secondary level but I did not like boarding at 9. A big part of it was the actual school, we had 'nannies' (as they called them) to look after us in our boarding time and some of them were quite cruel and certainly not looking after us the way someone who is there in the place of your parent should. There were also a lot of day borders and you could have your child every weekend (which my mother chose not to do) so it was quite hard seeing other children going home while I had to stay at that age.

Secondary boarding was a much better school, better social mix of children, better support network in the boarding houses and everyone had the same weekends and holidays where they went home.

To be honest my mother was a terrible mother so boarding school probably saved me from becoming more emotionally fucked up than I would have otherwise become. But saying all that, that's just my experience. I was a vulnerable little girl who had been passed around family members to be looked after as my mother was furthering her career and living her life and had experienced two deaths, one of my primary carer and another of a very close family member, and I really needed to be in a safe, secure and loving family environment at that age (9) but I wouldn't have got that at home anyway, so maybe it was the best place for me. Boarding at a prep school could suit a child who was more confident and secure than me, so I wouldn't judge parents for it. I wouldn't chose it for my DD though. Secondary boarding maybe, if she wanted to go.

doitinaminute Wed 19-Jun-13 12:42:47

BTW - agree with boarding if its the best option for a child (from 8 or 9) and there is plenty of contact with parents/family - not just cos I loved it myself.

I was one of those breast feeding, baby on the hip mothers too - not a career mum at all.

Not at all the same issue as full time nursery for babies. Mine (x5) as babies spent nearly every day, all day with me (yes, exhausting!) until part time nursery at 3, they never even had a cot as tinies, (they slept next to me until crawling).

If I add up the hours of parental contact before 8yrs, its more than some get all the way to 18

So many variables when you look closer instead of being prejudiced.

Boarding is not 'giving your kids to someone else to look after' for most people, its about giving them the best start in life, according to your circumstances.

LadyBryan Wed 19-Jun-13 13:17:50

If I were PM I would allow those who are capable to make decisions about the best education for their children.

Just saying.

Breadandcakes Wed 30-Oct-13 12:44:36

I would have loved to have been at boarding school and when I was a child frequently dreamed about it. The home life I endured was a nightmare. Don't think that every child has a wonderful life if they are not boarding

Strumpetron Wed 30-Oct-13 12:54:34

I honestly don't understand why anyone would send their child that young away to boarding school, unless it was for reasons such as high special needs, behavioural needs etc.

But that's just me, I'm sure it works for some families but for me id like to see my child everyday and have them grow up in the family home

YouStayClassySanDiego Wed 30-Oct-13 12:55:34

Zombie thread!!!!

jellybeans Wed 30-Oct-13 13:23:15

YANBU There is one that takes 4 year olds sad So sad.

iloveu Wed 30-Oct-13 13:32:51

If people cannot be bothered to raise their own children then they should not have them.
I just cannot understand why parents ship their children off to boarding school.

SoupDragon Wed 30-Oct-13 13:34:29

WElcome to MN iloveu

Did you join just to post that stupid comment?

HellMouthCusty Wed 30-Oct-13 13:36:42

I can totally understand why children go to boarding school. affording them the best life chances for an excellent education.

I am against the principle of private education based on the rich having the best life chances.

Must take exception with one of the very first posts that stated that bringing up your own children was a modern concept.

not for the working class

nennypops Wed 30-Oct-13 13:37:28

I don't think it should be banned for absolutely every child - there are children whose parents have to travel who need the stability, and there are some children with severe disabilities who may need it. But I think in general the concept of boarding schools is very odd, and I write as someone who went to one. I would never send my children to one in a million years.

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 30-Oct-13 13:38:39


HellMouthCusty Wed 30-Oct-13 13:42:17

what does that mean?

SeaSickSal Wed 30-Oct-13 13:45:11

I went to boarding school. The boarders under 11 normally had parents who's job or geographic location put them at risk. For example working for the world bank in a developing country where kidnap was a risk.

iloveu Wed 30-Oct-13 13:45:40

Nennypops - I agree regarding children with disabilities, in the services etc

Many of the ones I know who went to boarding school came from very wealthy families and the parents just did not want the hassle of parenting day in day out.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Oct-13 13:47:13

There are some strange assumptions on this thread.
Firstly, why do so many think there needs to be a problem at home or that boarding schools are a last resort.
Some children thrive at these schools irrespective of their background.
There are many reasons why dc go to boarding school and everyone is different.
My dd is pleading with me to go to boarding school for secondary, she has her eye on a particular one and I'd hate for her to go. She is a happy child at home and we are a very close family spending most of our time together. She can just see the benefits in this particular school. We live close enough for her to attend daily, but she wants to board.
So YABU OP, everybody is different and all schools aren't the same.

intitgrand Wed 30-Oct-13 13:50:50

'it's worked for generations'?

it has been done for generations, I wouldn't say it had worked though.I don't know a single person who has boarded at a very young age from 7,8,9)who isn't emotionally immature.It as if the horror of the situation has frozen them at that stage of emotional development.
Things would have to be seriously bad at home for boarding to be the better option.And parents should change circumstances to avoid boarding young children being necessary.

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 30-Oct-13 13:52:50


A zombie thread is a thread that was started months/years ago, died out and some arse body has found it and resurrected/commented on it ages afterwards.

As has happened here...

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