Boarding School child

If your child is in boarding school you may feel that you’re missing out a lot when it comes to creating a bond with them. They’re away from home most of the year with few breaks in between. You might start to feel like strangers to each other but it doesn’t have to be so.

Be intentional about spending time with your child when they come home on break. Don’t assume that just because they’re home the bonding will happen. Go out on a date with them and do something they like. It’s easier for someone to open up to you when they’re happy- it’s no different with children. Take the chance to find out what’s going on in their life in a non- confrontational manner.

Even when you’re not having a discussion, pay attention to their behaviour. You can pick up important cues by observing their demeanour. If they’re normally chatty but are now withdrawn, this could be a signal that something is wrong. Express your concern about this and let them know they can confide in you.

As you spend time with your child, let them know that you love and support them. Don’t assume that they know. Even if they do, children need constant verbal affirmation from their parents as they grow up. The younger the child, the more affirmation they require.

Make the most of holiday times to hang out with your child. Ask them what activities would they enjoy doing with you- this makes them feel appreciated. Day trips, camping, taking a class together are some of the ideas you can try.

If your child is a teenager, the last thing they want to hear from you is a lecture. When you voice your concerns in the form of a lecture, your teenager immediately goes into ‘block’ mode. Be careful not to use a hostile tone. Let it be a conversation instead.  Include experiences from your own life but not to show you were better than them at their age. This creates a safe space for them to share what they’re facing, not just now but in the future too.



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