Attending a boarding school is a big decision. Many students benefit from the structure, rigorous academics, and challenges to personal growth that a military style boarding school can provide. However, attending a boarding or military school can be challenging because of the change to routine for both teens and families. Even though there is a physical distance between you and your son, maintaining communication has become much easier with technology, and communicating often can lessen the emotional distance.
Adjusting to Life as a Boarding Cadet
One of the advantages of the modern age is that there are many technological options when it comes to being able to communicate with your son. Programs such as Skype, FaceTime, and GChat can all provide voice and video communications. Texting can help continue the feeling of day-to-day quick conversations. Students can also benefit from older technologies. Phones calls and mailed care packages can be a welcome surprise with reminders of home.
While you may worry about your teen at school, be sure to take care of yourself as well. It’s OK to take time to enrich your own hobbies and interests. Additionally, you can connect with friends or other parents with sons at Army and Navy Academy to broaden your social network. Connecting with other parents through the Army and Navy Academy Patrons Association can have the added benefit of providing you with a group of people who have gone through the experience of sending your son to a military style school, which means they can empathize and tell you how they stay involved. You can also volunteer with Army and Navy Academy as a Patron volunteer.
Let your Son Grow
The third idea to remember you have to trust your son to be his own person. The purpose of a more demanding and disciplined environment is to allow your son to grow and develop. While you want to maintain frequent communication, you also want to avoid seeming as if you are hovering. Trying too hard to maintain constant communication can sometimes seem like nagging, which can make your teen less likely to keep communication lines open.
Communicating with your Son at Army Navy Academy
Keeping in touch with your son can be tough, especially with the unique daily schedule of Cadets at Army and Navy Academy. Firstly, a Cadet’s day is heavily regimented and scheduled. Not only do Cadets have to complete class work, but they are also required to attend events such as training or drills at specific times. Knowing your son’s schedule is crucial, and you may need to schedule calls and chats in advance. If you want to take your Cadet out for dinner or away for the weekend, you should call the Operations Office to make arrangements and let them know you will be visiting. Also keep in mind the campus visitor regulations, which can be found on page 58 of the Cadet Guide.
Having a son in the barracks full-time can be challenging, but many students and parents will find it worthwhile. Keeping the communication lines open and allowing for personal growth will help ease the transition and set your son up for a life of success.