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Do all mothers worry about bullying in boarding school?

(7 Posts)
Sceitimini Tue 23-Oct-12 13:01:07

I always assumed my DD wouldn't be suited to boarding, as she can be clingy and anxious at times. She has a couple more years left in primary, but we went to a boarding school open day out of curiosity and she's really keen. It ticks a lot of the boxes in terms of the things that concern me about the upcoming teenage years - safe, controlled environment, severe limits on tv, computers and mobile phones, designated study periods. On the other hand, she is (in her words) slightly less than averagely popular, and my biggest worry is that she'll be bullied. She's not had any major friendship problems in primary school, so am I being overprotective, or is this a hunch that I should really take notice of?

mummyofteens Tue 23-Oct-12 13:40:20

My daughter attends and my son did attend a school which is a day and boarding school. From my limited observations, it is the kids that really want to be there that absolutely thrive and love it. I know this sounds blinding obvious but I get the feeling that for some kids, it suits their parents for them to be at boarding school not that it was the right decision for the kids. Go and visit again, maybe your daughter can try staying their for a weekend. Nothing is ever cast in stone smile I hope this doesn't sound too judgemental :/

Sceitimini Tue 23-Oct-12 13:46:01

That's useful, thanks.

Emandlu Tue 23-Oct-12 13:48:03

Oooh, we recently went and looked around a boarding school too. I am having similar worries. Though my dd isn't currently in school so it would be somewhat of a jump!

happygardening Tue 23-Oct-12 14:22:47

Kids are bullied in boarding schools but then kids are bullied in day schools. Most boarding schools are very hot on it and those bullying will be severely punished. But as one HM told me many years ago you can stop bullying but you cant force other children to like and be friends with a child (especially girls).
If Im being honest and I have a lots of experience of boarding schools I wouldn't want my DC to be unpopular at a boarding school it must be very lonely, on the other hand just because you not the most popular person at primary doesn't mean this will happen at senior school whether you choose a day school or a boarding school. But most boarding schools are an exceedingly tight knit communities. Most children spend a large amount of time in their boarding houses and it likely that most of their friends will come from their house and as the average number of children in a house/year is 12 your DC really needs to find at least one friend in those 12. Some schools have separate houses for 1st years off the top of my head Bryanston and Bradfield do, this of course broadens your friendship choices and I understand certainly at Bryanston when change houses in the second year and move in with the other year groups you can request to stay with a friend so may be worth considering.

happygardening Tue 23-Oct-12 14:31:42

Sorry not really answered your question! Do I as a mum with a child at boarding school worry? My DS has boarded now for 7 years and I can quite honestly say that I've never worried about bullying although he was picked on by the parent of a day child at his prep school which upset him an annoyed me so thats probably the nearest he came to bullying! But my DS is very resilient and I suppose has a lot of self confidence also if he had a problem like he did with this parent he knows to come either to me or at his age (14) his HM.My expectation of the his currant school and his prep that it is their job to take it seriously and quickly sort it out and the only time we've ever had to do this it was sorted out instantly.

3nationsfamily Tue 23-Oct-12 15:35:49

I suggest that she try to spend a day or even better a weekend of "normal" school as a taster at the school before you decide. That way she can get a feel for what it is like and just as importantly , what the other children are like. We did that with our DS, at one school he came home and said it was "fine", and at the other, when we went to pick him up, he didn't want to come home as he was having too good a time with his 3 new best friends he had made!! Guess where he is at school now??!

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