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 5th. My 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?