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Homesickness can be cured

Homesickness among students at boarding schools is not a new phenomenon. Charles Dickens famously chronicled the plight of homesick children in his chilling work, Nicholas Nickleby.

However, while the boarding schools of today bear scant resemblance to the prison-like edifice of Dickens' Dotheboys Hall, homesickness is something that endures.

Having helped numerous pupils - and their parents - through this, I offer the following tips:

1) Remember that homesickness is normal

Being away from home can be traumatic for even the most robust youngster.

Boys and girls can feel homesick; young and older children can feel homesick. Missing family, friends and home is completely natural.

2) Homesickness seldom lasts very long

When your child seems to be in the depths of despair, try to remember that homesickness usually lasts only a matter of days, or a couple of weeks at worst. In all my years teaching, not one child actually left school because of homesickness.

Similarly, I recall that the young boy who was most homesick suddenly bounced back one day and was happy and content as can be.

3) Timing

Homesickness can happen at any time, but the first flashpoint i