Home for the Holidays: Understanding Your Child When They Are Home from Boarding School

written by: Eagle Hill School
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…the holidays are in full swing, family is gathering for festive fun, cheer is in the air…and your kids are home from boarding school? Now, we know that everyone misses their children when they’re off at school, but the reality is that having them home for a few weeks can be quite the adjustment.

My Child Is Sleeping Nonstop

This is fairly normal. Your child has probably just taken a slew of final exams and is exhausted from cramming information into their brain. This is particularly true of first-year boarding students who haven’t yet adjusted to the rigors of academia. While letting them have their rest is important, it’s also equally important to maintain some sort of schedule, otherwise heading back to school will be even tougher.

Is My Kid Bored? Depressed? What’s Going On?

Coming back home, even if they are surrounded by childhood friends, can be tough for a lot of boarding school students. At school, they are constantly surrounded by friends, classmates, teachers, and activities. While this can sometimes be overstimulating, it certainly doesn’t leave much room for boredom. Coming home can be a bit of a shock when there is far less to do and seemingly more time in the day.

If your child is exhibiting serious signs of depression, such as excessive sleeping, loss of appetite, seclusion, and lethargy, it might be an indicator that something is going on at school and a conversation is in order.

Creating a Temporary Schedule

It might be helpful to create a schedule and list of boundaries and expectations for your child before they come home; it’s almost a certainty that there will be mismatched expectations, here. Letting your kid know what she’ll be expected to do when she gets home will help level set so that there are no arguments cropping up over the holidays.

Staying on Top of School Work

By now, your child has developed a system at school, whether through study hall, extra help, or just all on their own for staying on top of their deadlines and due dates. Urge them to continue this while they’re at home. Some students may or may not have work over the holidays. If they don’t, try to talk to them about the classes they’re taking next semester. Just having this conversation will keep it fresh in their minds, which is a bigger help than you might think.

Above all else, coming home should feel like a happy event for both you and your children. To make the winter break a positive one, start talking to them about any exciting trips or activities you have planned and let them know how pumped you are to have them home for a few weeks.
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Learning Diversity is a blog hosted by Eagle Hill School where educators, students, and other members of the LD community regularly contribute posts and critical essays about learning and living in spaces that privilege the inevitability of human diversity.

The contributors of Learning Diversity come together to engage our readers from a variety of disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, biological sciences and mathematics, athletics, and residential life. Embracing learning diversity means understanding and respecting our students as whole persons.


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