Some people have no choice but to send their children to a boarding school because of their work or lifestyle, while there are other parents who choose a boarding school life for their children because of its benefits. Either way, entering into a life of boarding school means a big change in a child’s life. The life turns 360 degrees for the child. The protective arm of the parents is no more around. Children have to learn to be self reliant at boarding school; they do not have a choice in that matter. And with this self reliance, they grow more mature than their age. When a child leaves the warmth of his house and comes to live in a community of students and teachers at the boarding school, he goes through a considerable amount of psychological changes. From a feeling of loss of family life to strategically devices ways to survive the practicalities of boarding school life, a child’s psychology touches many layers of insecurity. Especially in young children, when they are separated from their cozy family life and put amongst a bunch of strangers, they do not know how to deal with such a big emotional alteration. They either act out or become a recluse and slowly come up with ways to deal with such a permanent variation in their lives. There are so many other effects of sending off your children to boarding schools, some of these are positive while others are negative. You should carefully consider these effects because once your child is set off into boarding school life, his/her whole life will be shaped differently from there. Every choice that he makes in his/her life or every relationship that he/she has will be influenced by such a big change faced in the early, growing up years of his/her life. Here in this article, we have tried to put together the probable effects of boarding school on children.
Negative Effects Of Boarding School On Children
Acceptance: Children need acceptance and validation to keep feeling protected. In a boarding school, acceptance is a performance based concept. Validation is provided on the basis of day to day performance in the school. It affects both kinds of children, the ones who perform knows that it is a precarious concept while the non performers never get to experience it. This truly affects the self esteem of the child, leaving him thinking that he is perhaps not good enough. He/she might feel loved and cared for when he/she is at home but that too becomes a temporary experience, only a 12-week break time in a year which is insufficient and unstable. Individuals who grow up in a boarding school environment, facing the problems with acceptance, projects these issues in their adulthood. They enter into relationships for wrong reasons, perhaps to just fulfill their insatiable desire to be accepted and loved. They also grow up to be materialist and performance oriented, more often as workaholics, since it is instilled in them from the very beginning that acceptance is a performance based reward. These people hardly ever take a break and celebrate the goodness of life.
Feeling Of Loss: When children are left at the boarding school, one of the first emotions they start to feel is the feeling of loss and abandonment. They remain nostalgic for a long period of time, feeling lonely and uncared for. With their overworking delicate psychology, they convince themselves that they are being forsaken because they are not wanted by their parents. This feeling of desertedness and lonesomeness stays for the rest of the life. This is the reason why these individuals face a hard time forming healthy relationships since they think that they are not worthy of it. This psychological trauma can have a long term effect on a person’s life.
Stress: Staying at a boarding school means spending all of the time at school. It can never have an environment of casualness like home. This would bring intense periods of stress for children. There are no emotional comforts at boarding school. Therefore, children cannot get personal attention and little emotional validations like care, concern or pampering. Kids are always told to toughen up at boarding school. There are children with much sensitive and emotional nature who never quite adjust to such structured environment and rules and regulations. These types of children suffer at boarding school; always feeling out of place.
Adjustment: Some children find it very hard to adjust with the boarding school life since they are always missing the home life. When these children grow up they find it difficult to adjust with the home life, feeling like they are not given as much independence as they had at the boarding school. This paradox makes it difficult for the child to understand where he/she actually belongs. The parent-child relationship is also affected since the child starts to learn how to be self reliant and he/she finds it impossible to confide in his/her parents as their equation never really developed. Even parents start to feel that they have missed out a lot and experience problems in adjusting with their children.
Bullying: Children might suffer with bullying or abuse and parents will not be able to do anything about it, since these kids will not confide in their parents. Often senior students or even teachers force power and abuse little children in many ways. These children themselves cannot do anything about it and since they are already feeling abandoned and alone, they consider quietly bearing it as the only way to survive it. This can really alter a child’s psychology and affect the rest of his/her life.
Positive Effects Of Boarding School On Children
Disciplined: Boarding school imbibes a sense of discipline in children. The kids are taught to follow a schedule and strictly obey the rules formulated for them.
Good Habits: Good habits, such as sleeping on time, waking up early and exercising, are developed in the children automatically, once they go to a residential school.
Independent: In a boarding school, the children are responsible for themselves. As a result, they become independent and learn not to depend on others for everything.
More Time: The atmosphere set by a boarding school is best suited for learning and recreation. As the commuting time, from school to home is cut, children get enough time to indulge in recreational activities as well.
Self-Reliant: Children are nurtured in a secure environment, when they live with parents. On the other hand, when they live away from their parents, in a boarding school, they do not have the 'protective shield' over them. As a result, they become bold and fearless, ready to face any undesirable situation alone.