More and more frequently, the parents I see in my office feel confused and guilty.
Why confused? They are confused because, it was not their decision to be in my office in the first place! They are there because their son or daughter has insisted that they visit our school. Why? Because a larger percentage of young adults are deciding that a boarding school offers them everything they need and desire, all in one convenient location. Students themselves are doing the research and they are savvy consumers. Students get it; many parents are a little slower off the mark.
Why guilty? Parents feel guilty because, to some, there is still a stigma attached to boarding schools. There is discomfort in telling their friends and extended family that they are looking at a boarding school for their child; they know that ‘back in the day’, many boarding schools were … you know… for students who couldn’t cut it a regular schools. It is hard to convince people on the block that your son or daughter has ‘chosen’ to go to a boarding school because it is the best possible education they could every hope to have.
In the end, I really admire parents who are willing to stand up to the potential scrutiny of their neighbors and the oft unspoken disapproval of relatives. Until the naysayers themselves actually visit our campus (or the campus of any quality boarding school), they will never truly understand the value offered. Ironically it is often the children of the naysayers who are applying the following year! The more everyone learns, the easier it is to dispel the myth about boarding schools.
Stand tall parents. Don’t worry about how it may ‘appear’ to others. Listen to your children, because deep down they know what is best for their education.