On the naughty step - conduct that deserves a ticking off

16th May 2014 at 01:00
This week: boarding school resilience

Parents send their children to boarding schools for many reasons: hefty work schedules, frequent international moves or simply because they went themselves and enjoyed it. There are even parents (whisper it) who send their offspring away because they want them off their hands.

But the chairman of the Boarding Schools' Association in the UK has now given parents another motive: to teach children how to boil an egg and wash their own clothes. Young people, Ray McGovern said, were more likely to be "independent and self-reliant" if they slept at school. They would develop the "true grit" that universities and employers were looking for, he added.

Although Naughty Step can see the advantage of a boarding-school education (lots of time saved on commuting, plenty of hours in the day for a plethora of extracurricular activities and all that), developing basic cooking skills and self-reliance are surely things that can be learned at home. Parents might coddle their day-school children but it doesn't mean they can't encourage them to learn the domestic basics.

And besides, university is all about learning that there is a limit to the number of Pot Noodles you can eat. If that doesn't encourage you to learn how to boil an egg, nothing will.

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