Tips to help your son settle in as a new boarder


Helping your son to settle in as a boarder can be one of the hardest things you’ll do a parent.  
Every boy is different. Some boys will breeze into life in boarding school, while others will take some time to adjust.
In the first few weeks of the year, all boys are going through a period of adjustment. 

Whether this is their first time away from home or their fourth year as a boarding student, they are all making an adjustment to a new environment. Some just have more experience at it than others.

Conversations with your son
In your conversations with your son, remain positive and help them by modelling and redirecting toward the positive aspects of their experience while acknowledging that how they feel is okay.  

Don’t tell them that they should not be frustrated with the amount of work they have, or how they don’t like the way their roommate makes their bed. 

It is completely normal for them to feel how they feel and it is important that boys, parents and the school all work together to help the boys develop coping mechanisms that they will need later in life.  

Be a good listener
Listen to their frustrations and comfort them, then help them understand that they are in a process of change – which can be both difficult and uncomfortable at times.  

Expect rough patches
You should expect some calls or emails home from your son when he hits a tough patch. Until he completely trusts the support structure here, you will be his avenue for complaints and support.   

Remember to keep it in context, continue to encourage and remind him of the reasons he came to boarding school and the opportunities and experiences that are now on offer. 

Good questions for parents to ask their son:
  • Are you going to join the extra clubs or co-curricular opportunities on offer?
  • Who is your roommate, where is he from?
  • How is sports training going? What’s the standard like at Knox?
  • Are there any boarding house excursions coming up?
Most importantly, regularly communicate with the Boarding House staff about issues you think your son needs help with, or if he simply needs a pat on the back. 

By working as a team, we can ensure your son is fully supported and settled in his home at school. 
Mr James Norman, Head of Year 7 and 8 Boarding

Hear the story of one of our boarders