SPECIAL REPORT: Managing Homesickness

Although boarding schools today are very different to half a century ago, one thing that has remained the same and is still an issue for many boarding students is homesickness. Children will experience varying degrees of homesickness no matter what their age. Every child will be different, but helping your child cope with homesickness starts with acknowledging how they feel, supporting them as they learn new strategies to help make them feel better and start enjoying their time at boarding school.

Homesickness will always be there, but preparation is the key to reducing these feelings of homesickness. Often they can be triggered by a smell or a familiar image. The good news is that there are strategies to help students and parents cope with these challenges. There will be a point where your child’s resilience will kick in.

As your child adjusts, it will be important to validate their concerns by telling them that whatever they might be feeling is okay. Parents can’t solve all problems from afar, so try to empower your child to solve their own problems. Help them to recognise when they need support and who to get it from. Parents are encouraged to do this in partnership with their school.


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