Sending your kid to boarding school?

As a parent listening to other parents sending kids to boarding school for better studies brings memories when I went to boarding school in Class 5thMy son is same age now around 11 years.
So should we be sending him to boarding school? Here are some of the discussion points to ponder:
Discipline: One of the early things you learn is to be discipline and focus. There is a routine which should be followed and gives the child a set of good habits. 
Mental Toughness: Being in hostel implies you become mentally tough as you have to learn things hard way with peers, seniors, and teachers who are not as forgiving as parents. The maturity makes you more open to difficulties in life later on and how to handle it.
Career Path: Some of the boarding schools is already giving you career path, so if you are an early protege of military or any other field etc, it’s the best way to get into that path.
Independent – Ability to make own decisions: As parents, we overthink for our child and hence push them to a path which they do not understand. Being in hostel allows the child to make their own decisions. Not to say parents cannot enforce this even in a hostel but still, the child is more independent in deciding things.
Child’s innocence or love: Children have an innocent way of looking towards life, but this is lost in a hostel with its strict and disciplined life. The gleeful way of getting excited about smaller things in life slowly dies away.
Traumatize for life: Some of the things in a hostel, a brawl with the peer or consistent bully from seniors etc in tender age leads to lifetime trauma which is difficult to tackle once it leaves a lasting impression. One of my friend’s child – 14 years old girl was sent to the hostel for 2 years and she got into depression, leaving parents in dismay why they have sent her.
Peer/Competition kills creativity: With constant competition with peers in hostel, it kills a child’s creative outlook towards life. It gives them a monotonous view and everything becomes a way to please others. We see this being done at the parents level in schools today, imagine how a child will be in a constant competitive environment.
Life seems very tough for everything: At very early age child seems to take life as a very difficult pill, yes there is a lot of debate around how life is tough etc. But do we really need to give this lesson to our child now? Maybe for them, it might not be tough if they figure out what they like and explore more in life.
Overall my vote is against sending my child to boarding school. I see more negatives than the positives. What about you?

Praising your child for motivation – good or bad?

As parents we praise our child for almost all things, big or small …whether it’s reading books, coming first in a sports or getting good marks in exams. We, in general, keep telling them how smart they are to achieve anything. Thinking this will lead to very good motivation and help them do it again.

But ever wondered whether it’s good or bad for the child to have too much praise? or how our praise might impact them?

To understand it, let’s see how we perceive our success or failure. Recent study shows (Stanford article) how our attribution to failure or success makes a big difference. If we think we are smart and hence succeeded, a notion sets in that we are born with the skills. In case of failure we tell ourselves we are not good in this and give up easily. Whereas in both the above cases if we attribute it to hard work and learning skills, we would have succeeded much better. This Mental Attribution of failure/success is the game changer for us and what we achieve.

Now imagine if we almost always praise our kids for how smart they are? or how intelligent they are, this imparts them – How good I am and he/she thinks anything can be done without much efforts and sets a pattern. Eventhough they would have worked hard for it, we in general discount that fact while praising. Whereas if we say gr8 you have achieved this by working hard (Basically communicate it better with reasoning). This makes a big difference for them and they will be more ready to accept failure and work harder to succeed in all fields.

So dont worry about praising your child everytime as long as its done right its on! Next time if you praise your child, just consider doing a small change in how you do it!