The concept of boarding school goes way back during ancient Indian times. In those days, sending children to boarding school was a luxury of the elite few of the society. The parents sent their children to boarding schools to develop wider horizons than their family can provide. A boarding school a family has attended for generations may define the culture parents aspire to for their children. Equally, by choosing a fashionable boarding school, parents may aspire to better their children by enabling them to mix on equal terms with children of the upper classes and was more of a status symbol for them.
Now a days, its become a trend. When both the parents are working, they find this an easy way out to put children in hostel as they donâ€™t have time to look after them. But the problem is that they donâ€™t understand that parental love and guidance are important for the emotional, mental and physical well being of a child cannot forsee the damage it does to the bonding between the children and parents. The parents who support sending children to hostels support their arguments with following reasons:
1. Hostel Life inculclates independence in students. They learn to fend for themselves from day one and are able to tackle everyday problems of life in a better way.
2. The children get to meet people of different backgrounds and personalities, which can broaden their horizon, boost confidence, makes them independent and improve their interpersonal skills.
3. The hostels provide facilities for swimming, riding, squash, tennis, athletics, badminton, sky diving,sculpting and pottery, children are encouraged to participate in debates and declamation contests which makes them active and boosts their confidence to face bigger challenges ahead.
4. Besides detecting the childâ€™s talent and offering more exposure, hostel life can toughen and strengthen them emotionally.
5. The hostel life changes the perspective of an indivisual. Some parents share their own experiences and feel how they began to appreciate people for their worth and not for the families they belonged to or the riches they possessed.
6. The ability to motivate themselves is another appreciable quality that the hostellers imbibe.
7. There are a lot of behavioural changes as well. Children who were aggressive, hot-tempered before, became tolerant and mild when they left.
With due respect to views of other people, I still donâ€™t find it pretty convincing to send children away from home just because you cant find time for them. These days almost every second day incidents like- children running from hostel due to constant ragging by seniors, suicide attempt by a child on failing to convince his parents not to rejoin hostel, child ubdergoing depression due to difficulty in coping with the studies in hostel environment, throng the headlines of newspapers. But still, some of us just refuse to learn. A coin has two sides to it. So the other side of people feel:
1. The child loses out on family attachment and closeness to home activities.
2. A hostel cant imbibe family values and traditions among children which are stepping stones and crucial milestoneâ€™s in oneâ€™s life.
3. Sending children to hostel, reduce the quality time the parent-child spend togther.
4. Hostel life deprives the child of the pleasure of looking back towards the fond memories of his childhood coz those days were spent in the hostel.
5. Some children once sent to hostel do not want to go home even during the holidays. They feel alienated from their parents, who they say pampered them for the first and last few days of their holidays. For the rest of the vacation the kids felt ignored, as the parents got involved in their routine lives.
6. Feelings of rejection, anger and betrayal felt by a child upon being sent away from the protective home environment can leave life-long scars on a young impressionable mind.
7. Most of the parents donâ€™t realise of the indirect impacts of it. By sending the children away you are depriving their grandparents of their love and affection.
8. The strong emotional bond the children develop with their parents after being with them all through their school days is often lacking in children who have been in a boarding school. This is natural, as children go home twice during the year for no longer than 6-8 weeks. During this time the parents try to make up for the absence by pampering them and avoiding all attempts at correction. The child is treated more like an honoured guest than as a member of the family.
The jist of the whole discussion is we should avoid sending children to hostel coz once they grow they will anyways have to leave home and go for studies or job. But the initial years of their life when the emotional bond is formed is very crucial and shapes their future to great extent. Sometimes, parents who in a village or a small town where educational facilties are not good , or who are in transferrable jobs may be left with little choice but to send their kids away from home, primarily, for studies. Such a decision should be taken after giving it a serious thought, the welfare of the child should dictate the choice. It is an important decision, which can have life-long impact, both positive and negative, on the child. One important factor that could determine this is that children should be sent at the right age when the child is old enough to take care of himself and understand how being away from home will benefit him.