8 Coping Tips When Your Child Is Away at Boarding School

January 5, 2024

Discover effective strategies for managing emotions when your child is away at boarding school. Stay strong and connected during this transition.

Emotions When Your Child is Away

Being separated from your child when they attend boarding school can evoke a range of emotions. Understanding the emotional impact of this situation and recognizing the common emotions experienced can help parents navigate this period of adjustment.

Understanding the Emotional Impact

When a child goes away to boarding school, parents may experience a mix of emotions. It is important to acknowledge that these emotions are valid and part of the natural process of adjusting to this new phase. Some common emotional impacts include:

  • Sadness: Feeling a sense of loss or sadness is a common emotional response when your child is away at boarding school. It's natural to miss their presence and the daily interactions you used to have.
  • Worry: Parents may experience worry about their child's well-being, safety, and adjustment to the boarding school environment. This is particularly common during the initial transition period.
  • Guilt: Parents may also experience guilt for not being physically present with their child on a daily basis. It's important to remember that choosing boarding school is a decision made with careful consideration and the best intentions for your child's education and growth.
  • Relief: Alongside the emotional challenges, some parents may also experience a sense of relief or freedom. This may arise from having more time for personal pursuits or the opportunity to focus on other aspects of life.

Common Emotions Experienced

While the emotional impact of a child being away at boarding school can vary from one parent to another, there are common emotions experienced by many. These emotions may include:

It's important for parents to remember that these emotions are a natural part of the process, and they may come and go as you and your child adjust to the new routine. Seeking support, both from other parents experiencing a similar situation and from professionals, can provide valuable guidance and reassurance.

Coping Tips for Parents

When your child is away at boarding school, it's natural to experience a range of emotions. Managing these emotions is essential for your own well-being and to maintain a strong parent-child relationship. Here are some coping tips to help you navigate this challenging time:

Acknowledge and Validate Your Emotions

It's important to acknowledge and validate your emotions when your child is away at boarding school. Understand that it's normal to feel a mix of sadness, loneliness, and even a sense of loss. Allow yourself to grieve the separation and recognize that these emotions are a natural part of the adjustment process.

By acknowledging your emotions, you can give yourself permission to feel and process them. It can be helpful to journal your thoughts and feelings or talk to a trusted friend or family member who can provide support. Remember, you are not alone, and many parents go through similar experiences. Seek comfort in knowing that your emotions are valid and that it's okay to feel them.

Stay Connected with Your Child

Maintaining a strong connection with your child is crucial during their time away at boarding school. Regular communication can help ease your emotions and keep you involved in their life. Utilize technology, such as video calls, emails, or messaging apps, to stay in touch with your child.

Establish a routine for communication that works for both you and your child. This can include scheduled calls or designated times for sharing updates. However, it's important to strike a balance and respect your child's need for independence and their own experiences at school. Find a communication style that works best for both of you and allows you to maintain a strong parent-child bond.

Establish a Support Network

Building a support network is vital for parents coping with their child's absence at boarding school. Surround yourself with understanding and empathetic individuals who can offer guidance and comfort during this transition. Seek support from other parents who have gone through a similar experience or join online communities where you can share your thoughts and concerns.

Additionally, consider seeking professional help if you find that your emotions are becoming overwhelming or affecting your daily life. A therapist or counselor can provide valuable guidance and support as you navigate the challenges of having your child away at boarding school.

Remember, coping with your emotions takes time, and each person's experience is unique. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to adapt to the changes gradually. By acknowledging your emotions, staying connected with your child, and establishing a support network, you can navigate this new chapter while maintaining a strong parent-child relationship.

Taking Care of Yourself

When your child is away at boarding school, it's important to prioritize self-care to manage the emotions that may arise during this period of separation. Here are some essential strategies to help you take care of yourself while supporting your child's boarding school experience.

Practice Self-Care

Practicing self-care is crucial for maintaining your emotional well-being. It's important to carve out time for yourself to recharge and rejuvenate. This can involve engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading a book, taking a walk in nature, or enjoying a hobby. Taking care of your physical health is also essential, so make sure to prioritize proper nutrition, regular exercise, and sufficient rest.

Engage in Hobbies and Activities

Engaging in hobbies and activities that you enjoy can help distract your mind from the emotions of your child being away. It can also provide a sense of fulfillment and purpose beyond your role as a parent. Whether it's pursuing a creative outlet, joining a sports club, or volunteering for a cause you're passionate about, finding activities that resonate with you can be an excellent way to maintain a positive mindset and cultivate personal growth.

Seek Professional Help if Needed

If you find that your emotions become overwhelming or persistently interfere with your daily life, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Speaking with a therapist or counselor who specializes in parental separation or adjustment issues can provide you with a supportive and non-judgmental space to explore and process your feelings. They can offer guidance and coping strategies tailored to your specific situation, helping you navigate this transitional period with greater resilience. Don't hesitate to reach out for support when needed.

Remember, taking care of yourself is not a selfish act but a necessary one. By prioritizing self-care, engaging in activities that bring you joy, and seeking professional help if necessary, you can effectively manage your emotions while supporting your child's boarding school journey.

Maintaining Communication

When your child is away at boarding school, maintaining open lines of communication is vital for both parents and children. It helps to bridge the distance and provides reassurance and support. In this section, we will explore different strategies to maintain communication while your child is away at boarding school.

Utilize Technology for Regular Communication

In today's digital age, technology offers various ways for parents and children to stay connected despite the physical separation. Take advantage of video calls, instant messaging apps, and social media platforms to communicate with your child regularly. These tools allow you to see and hear each other, making the distance feel a little smaller. Establishing a regular communication schedule can also provide structure and something to look forward to for both parents and children.

Set Expectations and Boundaries

While it's important to maintain communication, it's equally important to set clear expectations and boundaries. Discuss with your child the frequency and duration of communication that works for both of you. Respect their need for independence and space while also ensuring open lines of communication. Establishing boundaries allows your child to embrace their new experiences and responsibilities at boarding school while still feeling connected to you.

Plan Visits and Reunions

Visiting your child at their boarding school can provide a sense of comfort and support. Plan regular visits and reunions to spend quality time together. These visits can help strengthen your bond and allow you to experience their new environment firsthand. Coordinate with the school to understand their visitation policies and plan your trips accordingly. Visits and reunions serve as a reminder that your love and support extend beyond the miles between you.

Maintaining communication is essential for both parents and children during the boarding school experience. By utilizing technology, setting expectations and boundaries, and planning visits and reunions, you can nurture your relationship and stay connected.

Fostering Independence

As a parent, it's natural to feel a mix of emotions when your child is away at boarding school. However, it's important to recognize that this experience can be an opportunity for your child to develop independence and growth. In this section, we will explore ways to foster independence and embrace the benefits of the boarding school experience.

Encourage Independence in Your Child

Boarding school provides a unique environment for your child to develop independence and self-reliance. Encourage your child to take ownership of their responsibilities, such as managing their schedule, completing assignments, and making decisions. This will help them develop important life skills and build confidence in their abilities.

Support your child's independence by allowing them to make choices and solve problems on their own. While it's natural to want to protect and guide your child, fostering their independence will ultimately benefit their personal growth and development.

Trust in the Boarding School System

Boarding schools have a well-established system in place to support and nurture students. These institutions have experienced educators, staff, and counselors who are dedicated to the well-being of your child. Trust in the expertise of the boarding school system and their commitment to providing a safe and supportive environment for your child's growth.

Maintain open lines of communication with the school administration, teachers, and other staff members. Stay informed about your child's progress, activities, and any concerns that may arise. This will help you feel more assured and involved in your child's boarding school experience.

Embrace the Benefits of Boarding School Experience

While it can be challenging to have your child away from home, it's important to recognize and embrace the benefits of the boarding school experience. Boarding schools provide unique opportunities for academic, personal, and social growth.

Your child will have access to a diverse community of peers, fostering cultural understanding and lifelong friendships. They will also have access to various extracurricular activities, sports, and clubs, allowing them to explore their interests and talents.

Emphasize the positive aspects of boarding school to your child and celebrate their achievements and milestones. Encourage them to take advantage of the opportunities available to them and remind them that you are proud of their accomplishments.

By fostering independence, trusting in the boarding school system, and embracing the benefits of the boarding school experience, you can navigate the emotional journey of having your child away at boarding school with confidence and support.


In conclusion, having a child away at boarding school can be a challenging experience for parents. However, by acknowledging and managing their emotions, staying connected with their child, prioritizing self-care, fostering independence, and embracing the benefits of the boarding school experience, parents can navigate this journey with greater resilience and support.

Remember that each person's experience is unique and it's important to find what works best for you and your child. By utilizing the tips and strategies outlined in this article and seeking additional resources as needed, parents can provide meaningful support to their child during this exciting new chapter in their academic journey.






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