Health / Psycho. Your child needs to be prepared to go to boarding school

The child’s personality, the context … Entering boarding school is an important step for children, which must be prepared. We stockpile issues to consider with Aline Nativel Id Hammou, Clinical Psychologist, Childhood, Adolescence and Family Specialist.

There was a time when boarding school was used as a threat by parents who wanted to see an improvement in their child’s educational performance or behavior. Is this the case today?

Aline Nativel Id Hammou : “No, we are less at risk of boarding school than at a certain time. Today when it comes to sending your child to boarding school, it is often at an important moment in his or her adaptation, at the end of high school, for geographical reasons or for the choice of options. Children are therefore ready for the idea of ​​boarding school: they know where they live or if they really want this option, they have to go to boarding school. In this case, the children are the actors of this choice and it facilitates the adoption of this kind of schooling. A

However, some parents decide to send their child to boarding school, regardless of the restrictions …

“When they think about it, it’s when the child has a behavioral problem or when they themselves have a positive experience in boarding school, or because it’s a family tradition. Here, parental mobility takes precedence, success, academic excellence, and so The difficulty is that in order to justify this decision, adults will highlight autonomy (“we will be less behind you”, etc.), where the most difficult point for children is separation, which may weigh more or less depending on their personality.

What are the potential children who may experience this experience badly?

“You can’t guess everything, especially group dynamics. But boarding school can be difficult for anxious children who need to be reassured and reassured by their reference adults, their families. It can take a long time for these kids to adjust, they go through it and turn on themselves … You also need to pay attention to the context: for example, it is better for a child to avoid going to boarding school that has just been an experience. Damage or special trauma. Or in the case of family problems such as the context of separation: regardless of his age, the child runs the risk of thinking that he has some responsibility for what is happening and is therefore being blamed. Far from it. This can create guilt that will complicate the re-establishment of a bond with the parents. A

Conversely, in what cases can boarding school be beneficial?

“It will not be a problem for children who feel comfortable in the community, who are looking for stimuli, who are not afraid of innovation, who adapt easily … but even in this case the question of separation arises: sometimes, coming home every weekend is not possible, but Only during school holidays. We need to be able to discuss this. Boarding school can also be beneficial for a child with behavioral problems. In this case, the main interest is that the structure is set by adults other than the parents. And it can help restore the bond with his parents.

After all, how should your child prepare for boarding school?

“You don’t put your child in boarding school overnight. Even in the case of a child actor of this choice, preparation needs to be expected. A child who enters the training center of a football club, for example: he expected the coach and the team to be beautiful, but in the end it is very difficult, we are in competition and so on. There can be a form of disillusionment, so we discuss it with him: “What do you imagine about boarding school?”, “What do you think about living there?”. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. Not to break all hopes but to put it on a principle of reality: “Well, boarding school can be very nice, you will be more independent, and so on. But there are also rules.
Things need to be bounded so that there is not too much strong frustration.

And if the test is not final?

“If you feel that the child is suffering, if things are put up to improve his experience but it doesn’t work, then you have to tell him that this format was not made for him, but it’s great that he tried. And above all, it’s no No matter, we’ll find another format that will adapt to it, all together. “

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