A new culture has cropped up in my country where we send our children off to Boarding schools at an early age in Primary school. The Children are left wondering should I stay home or go to boarding School?
What is a Boarding School?
I remember when I was in class 6 my mum decided she wanted to take my sister and I to boarding school and so she took us for an interview. I being the older one told my sister make sure you fail that interview because I could not see why I should be taken to a boarding school.
Why I should be separated from my family. I wanted to stay home till am old enough to go to boarding school, at age 13. It is amazing that I still hold those views. At that time I did not know whether my reasons were good enough, all I knew is what I wanted.
My advice is unless your work keeps you away from home and it would affect your child staying home alone for long periods of time. Please do not take your primary school child to boarding. There are very important lessons learnt in boarding schools but in my view they are for a later stage in a Child’s life.
I know there are allot of good reasons parents take children to boarding school in primary especially boys but when you read this article you might have a different view.
The 5 reasons Why Boarding School might not be a good option for your children
1) The first reason is that our children are given to us for a very short period of time. So you need to know who they are and who they are becoming and you need to influence whom they are becoming. When you take them to boarding school whom they are becoming is being influenced by someone else other than yourself.
So why do you want to lessen the time you will have with your child by taking them to boarding school. Just do the maths and see how much time you have with your child before they are 18 and after they are 18. Let us keep them close when we can.
2) Once the upbringing of your child is in the hands of another for such a long time, you are not able to evaluate the behavior changes in your child and to rectify them early enough. What happens is that you have a stranger in your house behaving in ways you do not understand and you do not know how to handle them because neither you nor your partner has ever behaved like that. They are becoming like someone else.
Remember that this is age when they are very impressionable and they want to please those in authority over them. So if the teachers in boarding schools are the ones they are seeking to please, they will have the kind of habits that teacher likes which am sure are very different from yours. Are you okay with that?
3) Bonding with the parent is minimal. The Children do not feel you – It is very hard to take a child to boarding school in Primary and then take them to day school in Secondary. So after primary boarding they will go to secondary boarding and your child becomes alienated more and more from you. You are like strangers. You are never speaking from the same page. This is your child whom you love so much but he becomes rebellious as a result.
Infact teenagers start interpreting your taking them to boarding school in Primary School to mean that you did not care for them at all. That you abandoned them so they decided to behave in ways that you do not like and friction begins to develop between you and your child and only God knows whether there will ever be a healing and what consequences it will have on your child and the relationship between you two.
4) I think the reason your children were given to you is so that you can mold them and nurture them to become responsible citizens of your country. When you take them to boarding school, you interfere with the natural being of this child. Children are not yet developed physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually at Primary age.
When you take them to boarding school you have a blanket decision that you do not mind how they develop in this areas. Whilst you should be very concerned as a Parent. You know why? Because the first person to suffer the consequences of your child not developing in the right manner is you. The first person a child chooses to terrorise is the respective Parent.
5) I think what you offer them at home cannot be offered in school. When I meet my children after school I ask them, how was school. They say fine. So I wait till they have had tea, showered, done their homework and then they tell me the real stories of their day. Or even when you are traveling home they could tell you about the days but during that time you are just taking in information.
Just before bed you discuss the happenings of the day and what they mean and the effect. Make them understand that what happened to them is not a mistake but a learning curve. Would they get this from boarding school?
I went to a salon and two ladies came in. The younger one in her early twenties sat down and the older lady gave instructions as to what should be done on the younger ladies hair and she left. It reminded me how I used to give instructions to the hairdresser when my daughter was below 9 years. I got intrigued and I asked. And I was told the young lady was mentally handicapped and so does not make her own decisions.
I watched her all through the process and she behaved like a 4 year old. Happy and jolly and saying how her beautiful hair would make her mum happy. Her mum kept coming in several times to check whether her daughter had been finished her hair. I inquired about her condition and I was informed that when she was born, there was not enough oxygen that went into her brain so that interfered with her brain development.
If lack of oxygen can affect a Childs physical development, aren’t there other factors that can equally affect a Childs mental, emotional and spiritual development? Is being separated from your parents for long periods of time be one of them?
The mentally handicapped young woman was very clean and well dressed. The hairstyle her mother choose for her is one which any trendy twenty something girl would wear. You could see her mother cared and loved her. I guess that is why she was jolly and happy looking. I think the picture would be different if there was parental neglect.
I am not saying that taking a child to boarding school in primary School is neglecting them but that it sometimes has a negative effect on who your child is and is becoming.
From the moment our children become teenagers they start making decisions over their lives. The decisions we make are determined by our value system. Our value system is determined by how mentally and emotional and spiritual stable we are.
It is the decisions that we make that then determine whether we are failures or success in life. This is how crucial your decision to take your child to boarding school or not is. When do you teach the children a value system? Before they become teenagers or when in Primary school? So when you take them to Primary boarding school, whose value system will they rely on?
There is a time I was considering taking my daughter to a boarding school. But I wanted a school that was not far off and where I was allowed to see my child quite often and even speak to her on a regular basis. This is because I feel strongly that we, her Parents, more than anybody else on this earth should determine the route her mental, emotional and spiritual development takes.
The Primary Boarding school just reinforces the academic culture of our educations system so well however, any Parent will agree with me that academics make up a very small percentage of a child’s development.
You are the Parent and I know you have the best interests of your child at heart so the decision as to ‘should I stay at home or go to boarding school‘ is all up to you, I only request that you make the decision that favors your child’s growth and development.