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I'm sorry but boarding school at 8...

(452 Posts)
TheVanguardSix Sat 23-Sep-17 13:36:36

I just don't get it.
Not in this day and age.
I don't mean to come across as antagonistic but as I watch DD's best friend prepare to leave next year for boarding school at the age of 8, it just feels sad. It's amazing how the dynamics of their friendship have changed already. And I can't help but assume it has to do with her knowing that she's leaving... preparing to board (she will only come back for Christmas/Easter/Summer hols... not even half-term. Her parents will visit her over half-term).
Don't get me wrong. I'm not against boarding school at all even if it's not in our plans. I get why people send their older kids to boarding school. We know lots of our older DC's friends who started boarding school at 11 and 13. But 8... it just seems so young.
There must be something positive about it. Otherwise, why would people choose to send a young child to boarding school?

chitofftheshovel Sat 23-Sep-17 13:42:45

In my experience there is nothing positive about being sent away. Nothing at all. 8 is too young but so is any age, it's a shit thing for a parent to do.

ludothedog Sat 23-Sep-17 13:43:04

It is very young. I wouldn't send my DD but I can imagine that there will be certain circumstances and certain children that will flourish at boarding school.

Perhaps there is something going on behind the scenes that you don't know about? Or is this a family tradition? If so it does seem very old fashioned.

DottyBlue2 Sat 23-Sep-17 13:45:45

I'd call social services. Dreadful behaviour.

OuchLegoHurts Sat 23-Sep-17 13:45:58

I think it's all kinds of wrong. Poor little thing.

topcat2014 Sat 23-Sep-17 13:46:04

Just put the kids up for adoption, it's simpler.

AdalindSchade Sat 23-Sep-17 13:46:51

It's nuts.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sat 23-Sep-17 13:47:36

I agree with you OP. My dad was sent to boarding school at 8 and hated every minute of it. He begged to come home but was told very firmly no.

I can't imagine putting one of my DCs through the same for a second. I've nothing against older DCs boarding if they actually want to but I do think 8 is way too young.

Subtlecheese Sat 23-Sep-17 13:47:52

It's not great. Just look at a high number of politicians. They are stunted and unable to function outside the structure of an institution.

welshweasel Sat 23-Sep-17 13:47:55

Each to their own. I went to boarding school at 8 as my dad was in the military. My parents didn't want me to go until I was 10/11 but I persuaded them as I missed my older siblings who were already there. It almost broke my mother but I totally believe she made the right decision for me based on the options she had available. I had an amazing time at school and as an adult I have a really close relationship with my parents and am still very close to the girls with whom I grew up. I have a successful career, marriage and kids. I wouldn't send mine at 8 but then we've no pressing need to.

AtleastitsnotMonday Sat 23-Sep-17 13:48:19

It is young, it's certainly not right for all children but there are certain circumstances where I can see why it is chosen. It wouldnt be my choice but without knowing the families circumstances and reasoning I wouldn't judge.

cakesandphotos Sat 23-Sep-17 13:49:13

I worked in a large international boarding school. We officially took children from 7 but our youngest was 5. I understand there were some difficult home situations but I still thought boarding school at that age was ridiculous. Unfortunately, where I worked, money made the world go round and compassion (from the higher ups, not the teachers or boarding staff) was lacking.

However, we took a lot of forces kids and there I can understand wanting stability for children who are otherwise moved around every 6 months

Blueemeraldagain Sat 23-Sep-17 13:49:16

An ex of mine was sent to (the most famous boys) boarding school at 8 as his parents were going through a very bitter and messy divorce. His sister was sent at the same time and she was only 6!

TBH I'm not sure if the divorce could have messed him up any more than boarding so young and for so long did (he stayed until 18).

I think channel 4 did an interesting documentary about very young boarders a while ago....

ColintheCrow Sat 23-Sep-17 13:49:18

I've just watched Jack Whitehall on Travels with my father... he seems to have a slight sore point with it too, as mentioned numerous times.

RJnomore1 Sat 23-Sep-17 13:49:20

You can't call social services 😕

And tell them what? Parents are using a registered educational and childcare establishment?

But yeah it makes me sad. Poor little poppet.

claraschu Sat 23-Sep-17 13:49:31

My husband went to a boarding school at 8. There was a reason for it, and he thrived in all the obvious ways (very successful, happy, good dad, etc).

I would still say that it was incredibly damaging to him, and something I would never do to any child. I think it forces a child to "cope" at a time when he isn't developmentally ready to cope. As a result, I think people develop coping mechanisms which can be very successful, but at the same time very limiting.

AtleastitsnotMonday Sat 23-Sep-17 13:50:50

Also, please do not judge boarding schools today on your own experiences or even worse those of parents or grandparents. Things have changed hugely in recent years.

MyBrilliantDisguise Sat 23-Sep-17 13:50:51

I had a very unhappy childhood and would have jumped at the chance to go to boarding school.

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Sat 23-Sep-17 13:51:11

My ds 8 has just gone to play footy and got a lift from the df of another player. His little face fell as I can't go (dd12 birthday make over party!) Can't imagine packing his stuff for boarding school!!

kaytee87 Sat 23-Sep-17 13:51:25

Poor kid sad

Social services aren't going to be interested in a child going to boarding school though. What a ridiculous suggestion.

AtleastitsnotMonday Sat 23-Sep-17 13:52:35

Whoever suggested social services, you do realise that social services do on occasion place children in boarding schools? I'm not sure you would get far with your report.

BMW6 Sat 23-Sep-17 13:52:58

OP - has the child expressed any view on being boarded?

speakout Sat 23-Sep-17 13:53:38

My OH was sent to boarding school at 5. Went home briefly at summer ans Christmas, but had to stay in school during Easter.

He was utterly miserable.

Blueemeraldagain Sat 23-Sep-17 13:53:40

Sorry. He was sent to board and then moved to Eton at 11 obviously. Trying to do too many things at once..

PaperdollCartoon Sat 23-Sep-17 13:54:19

DottyBlue get a bloody grip

8 is young, especially for full boarding, very few schools take children that young now. I have several friends who boarded from 11/13 and all loved it, but 8 does feel little, it wouldn't be my choice for my children. But her parents must think it's the best option for them for whatever reason, and she'll be well cared for at school. Do they work a lot with lots of travel perhaps, and think this will provide more stability?

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