When an adult thinks about the phrase “boarding high schools,” he or she might envision a college-like experience with one-on-one education, a variety of extra-curricular activities, and off-campus field trips aimed at building individual character and healthy world experiences. Yet what happens when you ask your teenager about boarding high schools? Are they excited about the opportunity to explore a new place, make lifelong friends and have fun while doing it?
Or is your teenager a bit more skeptical and worried about flying halfway across the country to live somewhere they’ve never been before? All teenagers will respond differently to the idea of boarding school; however, the way in which you approach the topic can make or break their perceived notion of boarding high schools.
Acknowledge Your Child’s Fears
It’s universally known that humans crave validation — specifically regarding their emotions. For teenagers, this is absolutely essential. Teenagers not only need to be validated from an emotional aspect, but they need to simultaneously feel as though their emotions, worldview and experiences are respected. This is a critical aspect to remember when bringing up the topic of boarding schools to your child. Don’t deflect their fears or concerns about boarding school; on the contrary, acknowledge that what they’re feeling is valid, and then offer to do anything you can to resolve their fears.
Be Proactive About Addressing Concerns
This might mean flying out to take a tour of the campus, scheduling a video call with an existing student, meeting an academic advisor, or doing a substantial amount of online research to find out more about the programs offered at the school. Whatever the case, don’t take your teenager’s fears and concerns as a sign that they’re opposed to boarding school — on the contrary, he or she is simply expressing healthy emotions regarding a potentially new adventure and chapter of their life.