Missing Friends & Family?

After a few weeks your children will not miss you, at least not in the same way that you’ll miss them. If they do miss you it’s important to reassure them that they can come home any time.  The more I reminded my children of that, the more determined they were to stay. 

It’s important to select the school carefully but its worth remembering only one in a hundred children decide boarding is not for them. 
If you are a helicopter parent like myself, they won’t have you breathing down their neck. If you are divorcing, remarrying or barking mad,  your children can at least escape some of the home drama while at school. 
Also they won’t have to commute which will mean they won’t develop curvature of the spine lugging about text books before they hit twenty. Another big plus for them is they get more time to hang out with their friends. 


Usually there’s a bit of dorm sharing in the early years as a boarder so learning to rub along with all sorts of different people is an essential skill boarders quickly develop. Like family, the people in your dorm aren’t going anywhere in a hurry. In the words of one boarder I spoke to, “One day that girl you hate might be the girl you need to cover for you. And what if you want to borrow lip-gloss or their fake ID or their mobile (cell) phone so you can ring yours when you lose it in your duvet or leave it in a friend’s dorm?” 

There is no doubt that boarding school engenders more tolerance than day school. 

Pining Parents? 

Yes, you will miss your children. I sobbed dreadfully. Their father’s didn’t. They rolled their eyes at my pining so much that they developed confocal squints. 

In a connected world of mobile phones and email, boarding school is one of the charming last bastions of the good old fashioned hand written letter. Most schools send your children home for EXEAT weekends a few times a term and increasingly the fashion is to allow boarders home on most weekends.  

Boarding school holidays are longer and terms shorter so fear not, you will remain central to Charlie and Flo’s life. You’ll just no longer be the one telling Charlie to stop leaving his socks on the kitchen table on a daily basis. This will bring you closer. I feel like an alien around mothers who elected day school because all their children do is complain about the relay race that is their life. My children were delighted to come home and remained affectionate and closer to me in a way I noticed my friends day schooling children didn’t.  There are also plenty of opportunities for parents to be involved with the school and to socialise with other parents. 

The mothers of St Mary’s girls regularly met up for lunch and we still do though the girls are in their mid twenties. It is lovely having that close connection to your children’s close friend’s parents.  I received dozens of get well cards this year from my daughter’s friends from St Mary’s and Eton when I was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

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