This is a really frank discussion with Yvette McDonald, who, among many other strings to her bow, is a parent of three ex boarders. The perspective you’re about to hear is one that’s often reserved for the corner table, quiet hushed discussions…. and often not shared.
For anyone that has sent their children to boarding schools from larger regional towns or cities, with a selection of schooling options right on their doorstep the decision to go down the boarding school route can often be a contentious one.
The inevitable scrutiny from family and friends, the sense of judgement, the feeling that you’re letting your home town down. Particularly if you’re a parent that always said you would never consider boarding school for your children – the parent that made their partner promise never to ask that of them.
Country towns (even the big ones) can be funny places…. On one hand the sense of community and belonging can wrap itself around you and give you confidence in your place in the world, but on the other you can sometimes feel as though you’re living under a microscope where your every move is monitored. On a good day that’s ok, but when there’s big personal decisions to be made it can feel suffocating, even intrusive. What I love about this chat with Yvette is that even though she recognised that she very securely went about choosing boarding school for their children with the understanding that it was all about them – no-one else.
Yvette and her husband Andrew were faced with these big decisions when they realised that their local options weren’t fulfilling everything they’d ever wanted for their kids – and for Yvette it was the added realisation that her own schooling in a smaller country town had not given her everything she needed to step confidently into the world. And it was a realisation tinged with sadness for her younger self.
This is a great chat with Yvette, a different perspective when parents decide to send their children to boarding school.