Pushy parents should leave children alone during school holidays, headmaster says

Camilla Turner
Pushy parents should leave their children alone during school holidays, headmaster says 

Pushy parents should leave their children alone during school holidays so that they can develop resilience and independence, the headmaster at one of Britain’s leading preparatory schools has said.  

Rather than forcing youngsters into “tightly controlled schedules” full of CV-building activities such as musical instrument lessons, parents should let their children to entertain themselves.  

Fred de Falbe, headmaster of the £23,000-a-year Beeston Hall School in Norfolk, said that it would be far better for a child's personal development to allow them to become bored, so that they can then find creative ways to occupy their time.

 Writing in the summer edition of Attain magazine, he said: "Practising the violin swells the heart of every ambitious parent, but doodling with a diabolo or yoyo, seeing if you can make a glass sing with your index finger or if you can raise a single eyebrow are not yet – as far as I know – skills that are proudly added to the CV.”  

Children should be left to play during school holidays

He suggests instead that children should be left to play with paper darts, unicycle, stilts, or a Rubik’s cube.  

“Not only does this add into the broth of resilience…it can prod problem-solving and self-esteem too – further totems of successful personal development,” he said.

“Those left-field activities are often the consequences of boredom (rather than a tightly controlled holiday schedule) and evidence of it as a necessary motivational process.

 “Boredom drags children into territory where they are obliged to think for themselves, to confront a kind of loneliness and to tackle a task independently.”  

Prince George, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Credit:  REUTERS

Beeston Hall, a co-educational preparatory school for children aged four to 13, sends it alumni to the country’s leading public schools such as Eton College, Harrow School and Radley College.

 It was thought to be under consideration by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as a potential school for Prince George, had they decided to live make Amner Hall in Norfolk their permanent residence.  

RegisterLog incommenting policy

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes