Convincing Your Parents

Hello readers,

Many of you who are interested in our blog probably want to attend boarding school. One huge step towards attaining this goal is to convince your parents. They are your guardians, your financial providers, and ones you need to have as supporters. I remember the first time I brought up my wish to go to boarding school. My parents’ reaction were not ideal. It took a lot of effort to get them to agree and finally support me in my decisions. Here are some tips on how to convince your guardians:

1. WORK HARD

As you all know, most quality boarding schools are extremely difficult to get into. For most of us, the application alone is an extreme struggle. First, you have to take the SSATs (in order to get a solid score, one has to study very hard). Secondly, there are all the application forms that are quite tedious. Thirdly, you have to crank out several essays that will impress the admissions office. Finally, there is that daunting interview, the most essential part of this process since the interviewer’s impression of you can make or break your acceptance. Show your parents that you are willing to partake in this difficult journey by beginning to do so. Once they see you actually starting the application process, their uncertainty of whether you actually want to attend will disappear and they will understand your true will to attend boarding school.

2. MAKE A PRESENTATION!

When I was convincing my parents, I went ahead and made a little powerpoint to present to my parents. I had top 10 schools that I was considering and deeply researched each of them. I made a list of reasons on why each individual school is appealing to me. I had pictures displaying the beautiful campuses. Factual data on teacher to students ratio… The list goes on and on. After this presentation, my parents seemed really impressed by some of the schools and had a slight change of heart. Sometimes, all it takes is for your parents to get to know the schools a little more!

3. SIT DOWN AND HAVE A SERIOUS TALK WITH THEM

Attending boarding school is not an irrational decision. It requires some serious thinking. You are literally moving away from home to immerse yourself in a strange environment for several years. If you are 100% sure that your dream school is a boarding school, then make plans with your parents to sit down at a private setting (sometimes these talks might turn into arguments, you don’t want that in public). Patiently explain that your wish to attend boarding school is genuine and assure them of your certainty. After voicing this, your parents might reconsider just because they did not think you were serious before. Often, all it takes is for you to tell them, “I’m for real!”

Hope these tips help. Good luck!

xoxo

Elizabeth

5 thoughts on “Convincing Your Parents

  1. Hello!
    This is a fairly old post, but I need some help.
    I’m becoming a freshman this year and really really want to go to a boarding school in the state. It is extremely prestigious and most of the graduating class goes into Ivy League level schools. The school is devoted to science and math, which is my huge interest, something I want to pursue in college and my career. IF you get into the school it is completely free, and has many other on campus pros. This all would sound awesome to my parents, except for the fact that it is an hour and a half away from where I live. My parents and I are extremely attached and barely can be a weekend separate, and would very likely not support the idea of a boarding school.
    This is my dream school, what could I possibly do to convince them that this is the right path for me?

    Thanks so much,
    Santie

  2. Hey I love your article and I need some help! I am 14 and I really want to go to London for boarding school, however my parents are not as ok with the idea. I want to go to London because I feel like I don’t fit in where I am and that boarding school is the right choice for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great group of friends, I do sports and my grades are fairly average, but I feel like I could be happier somewhere else. So when I asked my parents they had some really valid questions and I could really use some help answering them

    1) what if I get bullied while I’m there?— I’ve never gotten bullied before so I don’t feel like it’s going to happen in boarding school, but what if it does? Are people that mean at boarding schools?

    2) what if I get sick?— I’m not usually sick but what if I get a concussion or just a plain old stomach bug and my parents can’t be there, would the school help me? And I don’t mind that much ab my parents not being there but my parents do.

    3) Drugs and alcohol in general— my parents are extremely worried that a lot of kids will be doing drugs or drinking at the school I go to, I’m not one to give in to peer pressure so I could care less but my parents can’t be totally sure of that.

    4) what if I get a bad roommate?— like someone who is constantly hooking up w people in our room or is just in general a bad person, would I be able to get out of the living situation

    5) Would I be a total outsider with my American accent and all?— I don’t want to be regarded as the kid with the weird accent, I know Americans think UK accents are nice but I have no idea how Brit’s perceive my accent and that scares the crap out of me.

    Ok so that was super long but you would be so much help if you could give some ideas or insight to these questions!

  3. Hi Taylor!

    Emma here! I really hope it’s not too late to share some advice with you.

    First off, wow! I applaud you on you’re bravery to search far and wide for what you know you need. I think boarding school in Paris can be a great idea, as long as it’s right for you (which it sounds like it just might be). As you might know or not, I’m finishing up my first week of studying abroad in Rennes (a city about two hours outside of Paris). I will be here for a year, and you want to know why? Like you, I fell in love with Paris, then French, then the entire country. I, too, felt the itch that something father out there would benefit me. Last summer, I spent a month in Paris and it was all too lovely. I understand how you feel of not feeling like you have somewhere you belong, and I think it’s commendable that you’re willing to search so far to find what you want. I do believe traveling abroad and entirely abandoning you’re comfort zone can make you more confidence in yourself, and assure of who you are. Where convincing your parents comes in I say, do the research: know every in and out of this school, be able to answer any and all of your parents’ questions. Tell them the good things, and tell them how you’ll deal with or adjust to the bad things. Second, show your maturity. Be sure you’re giving them no reason to think you’re too immature to do this at your age. If you think you can, prove it everyday with your behavior. Third, sit down with them and honestly explain how much this means to you. Hopefully, if they see your passion, they will not be able to turn you down on an opportunity that you’re so fond of. Fourth, do everything you can to visit the school. If you can’t, try to get in contact with alums, search the website to see if students made blogs, do whatever you can to develop some first-hand accounts of this school.

    Like Elizabeth, I do have some concerns. If you feel ready and prepared after my thoughts, then I strongly urge you not to give up on this dream. It’s a wonderful one, and I feel so fortunate to have travelled and boarded.
    1) How’s your French? Yes, I’m sure it’s possible no to speak French, but it sounds very difficult. Not that you have to be fluent, but I would recommend you stop by a bookstore or dow,load the phone app “Duolingo” (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) to brush up on your basics. While living there, I’m sure you will absorb more. But coming to Paris with some helpful phrases and general knowledge of the city (look over maps, get familiar) will be good.
    2) Are you really ready? I’ve never thought of myself as someone who gets homesick or chickens out. But I must admit, I’ve only been studying abroad for one week, and it’s already being quite challenging. Honestly ask yourself if you believe you’re ready to start over, alone, as far as you will be. The first few days, I didn’t know anyone, hardly had the courage to speak, and it was quite lonely. Be sure you feel you’re prepared to tackle so a challenging task. If not, that’s okay, and you can also apply or do something different the next year. Paris isn’t going anywhere. If so, then bravo to you. Traveling I feel only broadens one’s mind and spirit.
    3) Be sure you’re not running away from something, but headed towards it. A wise family friend told me that she was confident that I would be a successful boarding school student because it was something I truly wanted to do, and I wasn’t running away from something at home. Be sure that you want this will every fiber of you because it’s not going to be easy in the beginning, and if you’re not 100% dedicated, it might not work out.

    With that said, if you have read our comments and still feel comfortable and confident with your decision, then go for it! Nothing is better than someone brave like you who is willing to chase after his/her dream. Go and dream big. If you have any more questions or need help, you know where to find us. I wish you all the best! :)

  4. I love this blog. I really want to go yo a boarding school is Paris and convincing my Parents that I want to go to a boarding school on the other side of the world is not easy. I’m 14 and I have to say i am really mature for my age; going through all the things i’ve been too. Paris has been my dream for as long as i can remember. I’ve had a tough year this year.. Going to a horrible private school doesn’y really let me be who I want to be, an indepdent person. I have anothr option of going to a public school but to be honest I hate public schools. I thought about online home schooling, but the only thing I would be doing is staying home locked up in my room learning. I hate those ideas.. And now I thought about boarding school. Its a great idea for me and for who I want to be as a person. I want to start over with my life and began the start of something new. Do you think its a good idea for a 14 year old to go to a boarding school in Paris?

    • Hi Taylor!

      Sorry for the EXTREMELY belated reply. I really hope it’s not too late for me to respond. I totally understand what you mean when you refer to difficulty in convincing your parents on letting you go to “the other side of the world” as that is exactly what I had to do. Despite the difficulty of making them see the significant benefits and gains in going to boarding school, actually attending one is easily the best decision I have made. Three years ago I was in the exact position you were in, uncomfortable in my skin and afraid to do “me”. Boarding school (my school is The Thacher School in Ojai, California) gave me the fresh start that the 14-year-old-me was and the 14-year-old-you are looking for.

      Paris is one of my favorite cities. The culture, the food, and the language creates a beautiful place that many flourish in. All the bloggers of this blog have taken french. This is my third year learning the language. Morgana’s on her fourth and she used to live in France. Emma is currently studying abroad in Rennes. I will let the other two know of your case and have them help shed some light on the situation. Your maturity, independence, and you strong sense of self makes you absolutely perfect for boarding school. On top of how suitable you are for a boarding environment, Paris is also an amazing city where you can definitely gain some fruitful years.

      I only have two concerns:

      1. Language barrier
      Not being able to speak the language at least at a fundamental level will inhibit you from many aspects of boarding life. Being able to involve yourself in french culture requires a strong foundation in the language. If you have taken french and are confident in your skills then the possibility of a language barrier does not concern you.

      2. Unfamiliarity with the schools
      Doubting the need to visit a school before you attend is always a mistake. I highly suggest you to visit all the schools you are considering before you decide to enroll. A lot of prospective student may not have the financial background that allows you to visit; If that is the case, don’t be afraid to contact boarding students or students who are familiar with any of the schools you are applying to.

      If I think of any other advice, I will let you know immediately. I wish you the best of luck. Teenagers like you are exactly who we want to reach, and who we want to help. Thank you for reading!

      yours,
      Elizabeth

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