Many young children will be feeling "homesick" over these next few weeks as they are left by their parents to begin life at their new institutions.
Advice online by the Independent Education Consultant encourages parents to "not give in to emotional blackmail. You have made this choice for the right reasons so try not to take seriously any miserable communications from your child, which may imply that you do not care or are in some way cruel. Quite the opposite. You have made a selfless decision in giving your child what you believe will be an amazing opportunity."
Reading this and various advice given on present day Boarding School Website pages to parents on how to manage their child's feelings as well as their own, reads like propaganda.
Joy Schaverien in her book "Boarding School Syndrome," claims that the term homesickness does not do justice to the depth of losses to which the boarding school child is subjected. The broken attachments of the first days in boarding school amount to a significant, but an unrecognized form of bereavement, and the child must learn to live without love.
Often children's losses are minimized and glossed over as insignificant and therefore many children hide these feelings for fear of being seen as childish and pathetic and subjected to bullying.
The term homesickness encompasses a complex system of unprocessed grief and many children are emotionally wounded (traumatised), exiled (homeless), and bereaved (grieving).
Suddenly children are abandoned and have to adapt to the abrupt and irrevocable loss of the childhood state. Children lose their role, their sense of themselves as people who belong in a family group and they have to prematurely appear grown-up.
It is not uncommon for the repressed distress to come out in symptoms such as bedwetting and vomiting as tears do not appear permitted.
So, What do the children do with these emotions? Not wanting to upset their parents who want them to be happy...?