Why We are sending our child to boarding school

This time a year ago, I would’ve never even been open to a boarding school. And now I have a totally different perspective.

A bit of background

I had my daughter in my first marriage. She was very much planned and a much wanted gift. Due to ‘irreconcilable differences’ though, our marriage ended within a year. A very volatile divorce, malicious intents and bitterness. That being said, the best to come of our marriage was our daughter.

Since the age of 1, it was just the two of us against the world . We were inseparable. My friends used to call her my handbag because I’d take her everywhere. Black families are big on helping raise your child. My mother offered to raise her, and I it was a huge NO. She was mine and I was going to protect her and make her feel loved. It was my role to shield her from this divorce. I wanted to be her mom and dad, her bestie, her confidant. Though she had her own room, we shared a bed for 4 years. Our bond is unbreakable.

Prior to meeting my husband I prayed for a man who would put my daughter first. When he proposed, he asked for her permission first. That is just how intense our relationship is. She was and is my first love, the one who made me a mother.

Growing up

Over the years we became even closer because instead of getting a sister she prayed for, she got a brother. We are the girls of the house. It makes perfect sense that we are this tight. So I was taken aback when she approached me and asked me if she can try boarding school. What was I missing?

‘I’m worried I’d never be able to cope in Varsity, that I’d have separation anxiety because you are my life’. How did she grow up this fast? I took a week to reflect on it. Conclusion: ‘Hi I’m MrsX and I a helicopter mom’

The truth is, I have definitely gone overboard. It’s my duty to keep her safe and loved . Should children fail? Yes. Should they experience rejection? Absolutely. Are we as parent meant to shield them from experiencing all that and life coping skills? Nope.

I have to learn to let her go into the world. My helicoptering has been protecting me more than her. I’ve been scared to lose her because she has always been my saving grace. She used to wipe my tears during my divorce and she knows me so much. I owe this to her and myself. Letting her make friends, build relationships, become independent and resolve her own conflicts. In my heart I know our bond we’ll be stronger (Our phone bill will be crazy, but worth it, lol). I believe I taught her well and she already is an exceptional young lady.

As fate has it, she got accepted at the only boarding school we applied to, one of the best in South Africa. I’m absolutely proud of the person she’s becoming.

22 comments
  1. I think you are both so strong, and I think it will be a good growing experience for the both of you. Goo luck to both you and her!

  2. I am happy that she is showing independence and building her confidence in the decisions she is making. The separation at first would be unbearable, but this is a learning experience for both of you.

  3. What a beautiful girl! It’s great that you have such a close relationship. I’m sure she’ll thrive at boarding school.

  4. Some of my older friends sends their kids to boarding school, so they could learn independence too. It works. Now they having hard time to send them back home.

    1. lol, I hope that won’t be our case.

  5. I heard of boarding school so much and my friends over here in Asia, love sending their kids to boarding school in US or UK or Australia. That’s way the kid can be well taken care of.

  6. I’ve heard so many good things about boarding school. I am sure she will be fine and it will be a great experience for her.

  7. I think that boarding school can make a world of difference in a family’s independence. You’re doing the right thing and it will make her see the world with a whole set of individual eyes!

    1. Oh thank you Ashley, this really puts my mind to ease.

  8. I had been to boarding school too and it made me strong and independent. U are awesome and your daughter is lovely. And believe me she will enjoy there.

    1. Thank you, I needed to hear this.

  9. I think boarding school definitely has it’s perks. We all have to do what’s best for our kids.

  10. I’m sure she will learn, grow and evolve massively with this experience. Thank you for sharing the insights.

    1. That would be a great experience for her. And it’s nice that she is starting to be independent.

  11. This would be a great growing experience. Think of it as going to college. Good luck.

  12. I always wonder how families come to this decision! It sounds like a great opportunity for her!

  13. Your close relationship and experience with her thus far will allow her to thrive in boarding school! She will definitely gain an incomparable sense of independence!

  14. My daddy went to boarding school and loved it! She’ll have a fantastic time x

  15. That was the hardest decision. Sending your child to a boarding school was not an easy thing. But I know that she will learn a lot from it.

  16. wow congrats. to your family for your daughter heading to the best boarding school in South Africa. The distance will not be easy but I am sure you will all find a way.

  17. It’s not for everyone but sometimes it’s a great way to children to grow and learn to stand on their own. I understand your feelings and I know it’s a big change for you and I feel for you. I have faith it will all work out and wish you and your family all the best!

  18. I think the universe put this opportunity for her to go to boarding school so you and your daughter can have space and room for her to grow. I am happy you admitted you are/were a helicopter mom but in order for her to blossom into a young woman she will need some space and I think the school will give her good structure. Great job for allowing her to go!

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