Parents take the decision to send their child to a faraway place to study. It is not easy for the child to immediately settle at the boarding. Parents and the child can follow a few suggestions to make it an easy process.
Parents should discuss with the child if they want to move him to a boarding school. The consent and state of mind of the child are equally important. If the child is very much nervous about being away from home then parents should think about it again.
Once the child is all set to go out to the boarding, parents should start discussing with him all the possible situations that might turn up at the boarding and make him understand that it is absolutely normal to feel a bit of sadness and anxiety after leaving home and staying at a new place. They must tell that the study culture at that particular place is very good and will help him in getting a very good education along with extracurricular activities.
Parents must not avoid the issue of separation. Rather, they should mention this in a way that it appears as a part of the study routine and something which will make them more confident and smart. This will fill them up with assurance. Also, there will be regular communication between parents and the child so the child must not feel tense.
Parents should tell the child that feeling homesick at a new place is absolutely normal and natural. Those parents who themselves have studied at boarding schools must share their own experiences with their children and tell them about all the good things. They must also tell how they felt homesick initially and later started enjoying their hostel life.
Sending the child on a few days’ vacation to a friend's or relative's place will let him get a feel of the hostel as it will work like a rehearsal or preparation. The child should be encouraged to explore the new place and people and made to understand in a very loving way that it will take time for him to be fully acquainted with the boarding.
Parents should present a good, positive image of the child’s going to be peers and teachers. They should show the child that they are excited that the child will learn at a better place.
Parents should encourage the child to sort out his problems on his own as far as possible. They should never let their child call them often but only as decided or allowed. Inversely, parents too should not call often and follow the rules themselves as well.
Teach the child to use the cell phone as per the needs or as allowed by the school. If the child is feeling nervous initially parents should listen with empathy and compassion and must not get angry or irritated. They should counsel the child and give a pep talk.
Conclusion: Initially the child is bound to feel homesick but with time he will not only adjust to the new setting but also start loving it. It is also advised that parents regularly check with the boarding authorities about their child’s overall behaviour and development. If the issue is handled judiciously then the stay of the child at the hostel will be a pleasant one.