How To Stay In Touch With Your Son At Boarding School
BYou did it! You toured, found the right-fit school, interviewed, your son completed the application process and moved into his dorm to start his next chapter at boarding school. At boarding school, your son’s learning isn’t limited to the classroom. Here, he’ll be expected to move outside his comfort zone, build skills for his future success, and dig deeper into his passions.
We get it, we’re parents too.
You want to know everything that’s going on - how he did on his Chem test, the score of the latest game, what part he received for the school musical - here are sure-fire tips to follow, designed to help you stay in touch.
Get Your Ducks in a Row
Well before you pack up the car - let your son set some of the ground rules. Together, decide which platforms you’ll use to stay in touch (phone, text, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, etc.) and how often you expect to hear from him. Depending on your son, you may want to consider a Communications Contract to set up clear expectations. Your expectations should not include an immediate response. He’s going to have different standards at boarding school than his previous school. Students likely won’t be able to access messages until after obligations end for the day and before the start of study hall.
be in the Know
To keep up to date on the ins and outs of school follow the school’s social media accounts. You can locate the main accounts on the school’s website. If he joins a theater production, Model UN or a sports team, many schools also have social media accounts for extracurricular activities. Don’t forfget to “like” and “share” the posts because coaches love it when parents comment and cheer on teammates.
Find Your Inner Geek
Let your son take the lead here on which social media platform you’ll use to stay in touch. We recommend you get really comfortable with texting (but not while you drive). Some families may find an app such as WhatsApp or Twitter will work well, while other families prefer to use a combination of apps. We always like to strongly suggest to families to refrain from publicly commenting on their child’s posts.
Fun Wins the Day!
Sharing funny photos or “memes” (pronounced meems) is great because this age group is hyper-connected and really loves social media.
Connect with the Other Parents
Join the Parents Association. By joining the email list or the Facebook Group, you can find out about volunteer opportunities. Volunteer possibilities may be in person, such as Admission Open House days while others are off-site opportunities. The Parents Association is a great way to stay connected with parents and faculty while allowing your son his personal space.
Mix it Up
Don’t forget to send a care package once or twice a semester (just remember to follow the school rules about what is acceptable in the dorms!). You’ll find your son may also enjoy a “snail mail” letter every now and then. Mix it up with alternating a visit home with your visiting campus outside of Parents Weekend or game days.