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Boarding school

(90 Posts)
noddyholder Sat 31-May-08 19:22:58

I know this will descend into a big barney but I am asking this as I am having a debate with a close friend about this.Under what circumstances is sending your child away ever the 'right' thing?I am genuinely interested in the real reasons(and am prepared to be persuaded i am wrong) people do as I have always been of the view that it is cruel and unnecessary but a v close friend is about to do this and I am shocked.This is not a public v state school debate purely boarding.

maidamess Sat 31-May-08 19:24:42

My friend is about to send her eldest to boarding school...because she went and so did her dh, and its just what they 'do'.

FluffyMummy123 Sat 31-May-08 19:24:45

Message withdrawn

tiredemma Sat 31-May-08 19:24:55

Im sure that my DP would tell you that its cruel. That is certainly how he feels about being packed off to boarding school.
His relationship with his mother is virtually non-existent because of this.

NotABanana Sat 31-May-08 19:25:20

I know someone whose husband went to boarding school and they were adamant their children wouldn't go.

DD1 is there now. sad

FluffyMummy123 Sat 31-May-08 19:25:24

Message withdrawn

NotABanana Sat 31-May-08 19:25:55

Their DD1, not mine!

hanaflower Sat 31-May-08 19:26:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noddyholder Sat 31-May-08 19:26:29

My friend is too just because her dp did She didn't and the child in question is not keen but not distraught either.I just don't understand how you can send your kids away when they need you most and before you know it they are adults and all that time is gone

hanaflower Sat 31-May-08 19:27:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiredemma Sat 31-May-08 19:27:49

I really think that its cruel, I cannot imagine waking up everyday knowing that my kids were elsewhere.

But agree- that some children do love it.

SniffyHock Sat 31-May-08 19:27:52

What age are you talking about? I am totally against sending a seven year old but can see some merits for a thirteen year old maybe doing weekly boarding.

This is an ongoing discussion in our house as DH was a boarder (I went to a comp). I have always said 'no way' but now a have friends with teenagers I can see the benefits. Not to get rid of them but to give them a bit of space and then hope they will really enjoy their time at home during weekends.

A very personal decision IMO.

noddyholder Sat 31-May-08 19:27:54

cod did you ever think they should adapt their life to suit you rather than the other way round?

Saturn74 Sat 31-May-08 19:28:41

I am sure there are wonderful boarding schools around, and that many children thrive there.

But I can't imagine sending my child away to be cared for by people who, although probably very caring, do not love them.

noddyholder Sat 31-May-08 19:28:42


bodiddly Sat 31-May-08 19:28:57

My brother and I went because my mum was a single mum and was struggling to provide for us (living in less than ideal environment) and she was of the belief that she wanted us privately educated - she felt that it was the only way. I loved my last few years there but my first few weren't so great!

Donk Sat 31-May-08 19:29:46

My father went to boarding school on the advice of the Ed. Psych. due to clashes with his father - it suited him well, although they weren't 'typical' boarding schools. He had a lot of freedom and encouragement to be himself.

I worked in a boarding school for a year as house staff - some children missed their parents dreadfully, others thrived and blossomed - lovely to see.

foxinsocks Sat 31-May-08 19:29:51

I sorted it out for my younger sisters to go to boarding school from secondary school age because my mum was completely mad (and I went too but was older).

It was definitely the right decision for them and I only wish I could have gone when I was younger but that's because the alternative was awful.

I can't really comment on what it must be like coming from a normal family but I imagine it must be very hard though as cod says child and family dependent (and age too, I think that makes a difference).

LavendersBlueDillyDilly Sat 31-May-08 19:30:01

I went as parents abroad, and loved it.

Brother went, for same reason, but a different school, and hated it.

His was a rather harsh typical public school, mine was more nuturing.

depends on the school, child and family.

Both brother and I have good relationship with parents though.

Wouldn't send mine though, just becausr I want them with me.

NormaSnorks Sat 31-May-08 19:30:41

A friend's children went to boarding school Mon-Fri when they were 11 and upwards.
Reason: His wife (their mother) tragically died, and he figured it was the best solution for them which allowed them to stay in their existing house, and be properly looked after.

An ex-boyfriend of mine went to boarding school in UK as his parents were serial expats.

A friend from Uni went to boarding school (Wycombe Abbey no less!!) because that's 'what her family did'. I always thought she was a bit screwed up and institutionalised... sad in her approach to things.

Littlefish Sat 31-May-08 19:33:12

I was always desperate to go. My home life was very chaotic and disruptive due to family illness. At about 13, I just wanted to live somewhere else.

However, my brother did go to boarding school when he was 11 (I was 9 at the time). He found it very hard to integrate with the family when he came home. It took me another 25 years to get to know him. He was not there during my teens and never really came home again as he went straight off to university.

He didn't really have a role at home - my sister and I didn't need him, we resented him trying to be our older brother when he came home. He had no idea about relating to girls, particularly younger ones, and he felt he had been singled out and "sent away". It caused no end of emotional problems for him which continue to this day.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Sat 31-May-08 19:40:27

I wanted to go, and I think I would have loved it, but parents wanted us @ home. Now DC want to go Mon-Fri, and I am being my mother and telling them they can't, because I would miss them too much... I think they would enjoy it, so just my selfishness not letting 'em...
DS1 (10) will start a new school in Sept where there is optional boarding, but becaue it is basically a day school with some boarders, not the Real Thing, so neither fish nor fowl.
maybe when he is 13 we will reconsider.
I do know boys who went at 7, which seems ridiculously young, and two of them are very unemotional pople, but then maybe they would have ben anyway, and inherited their lack of emotion form the parents who were willing to sned them @ 7 ???

thelittlestbadger Sat 31-May-08 19:42:39

My brother went to boarding school when he was 8 as he was a chorister (which he really wanted to do) and it was compulsory for choristers to board. DB hated it and mum knew he hated it - it was also a bit of a rubbish system, after making boarding compulsory they didn't actually bother to do anything with the children when they weren't singing or in lessons. Soooo mum wrote to him every day, drove over to see him most evenings, took him home as much as possible every weekend and moved close enough after a year so that he could get a special dispensation.

He is still glad he did the singing but is still annoyed (25 years later) about the school not bothering. However, I think we are all closer to mum as a result as we spent lots of time with her driving as she talked over whether she should pull him from the choir although he didn't want that..

I also have a couple of uni friends who boarded throughout (age 4+) one whose parents died and one whose parents couldn't be bothered. The first one is normal and happy, the second is not. I think it depends totally on the school and the child and actually on how much effort the parent is prepared to put in to keep communication open.

lazymumofteenagesons Sat 31-May-08 19:47:18

My younger son (13) boards mon-fri. Started as a day pupil but with very long journey - 1hr each way. He couldn't do any after school activites and pleaded to board. Eventually we let him. He is very happy gets involved in loads of things at school and has learned to organise his laundry etc.

It is not like it used to be. They have their own rooms, it is co-ed and can phone home whenever they want and we can phone them. He is home every weekend. Sometimes we go up there in middle of week to watch sports matches/school concerts and take him and a friend out for dinner.

However, my brother went to boarding school in early 1970's. I didn't see him for months at a time and consequently do not have a close relationship.

noddyholder Sat 31-May-08 19:47:48

what sort of parents can bear to be parted from their children for the bulk of thir young lives though?

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