Advice for Parents
It is important for parents and families to remember their part in the success of any OBI student. Experience has taught us that your attitude and actions often are the difference between success and failure.
Starting out at OBI
First weeks » The first few weeks of boarding school are a tough adjustment for everyone involved. Homesickness is real, and parents miss their kids more than they anticipated. We limit phone calls during the first 30 days, and this can be frustrating for everyone. Please support us in this and understand that too much phone contact with family during the early period of adjustment usually destroys any chances of actually adjusting and getting down to the business of school, new friends, new activities, etc. Students may write during this time as much as they choose, including the use of e-mail privileges a few times per week.
Perception » Children should not be threatened with the possibility of boarding school as a punishment. Attending OBI is an opportunity. Be complimentary of your child in coming this far in a new and difficult adventure. Remind them of the rewards of accomplishment. Be positive. Don't lose your temper if your child becomes ugly or frustrating over the phone. Remember your goals. Help your child remember why they came and not to just focus on their frustrated feelings of the moment.
Care packages » Please do send food and other packages. This helps immensely in the adjustment process.
Emotional blackmail » When you do talk to or hear from your student, please be moderately skeptical of outlandish claims. The dorm houseparents will be happy to talk to you about any problems your child reports. Be sympathetic, but also be supportive and firmly committed to your child's adjusting and succeeding as thousands of others have done. Encourage your child to solve problems by going to adults, and stay with the plan for your child to be here and succeed here.
Responsibility and independence » Remember that we are telling your child to do the basics: Get up on time, go to school, do their work, get a job or sport, be involved in activities, make new friends, solve problems quickly, stay out of trouble. Help us reinforce these proven goals.
Visits » After the first 30 days, family and friends may visit on weekend days only with prior approval from the Dean of Girls/Boys.