While for some parents, sending their children to camp for the majority of the summer seems as natural as breathing, while for others it’s an 8-week guilt trip.
It is difficult for us as parents to send our children away for extended periods of time, especially when the children suffer from being homesick – don’t worry, homesickness is normal!
Here are a few tips to help you and your children get through the first few days of being apart:
- In the months leading up to leaving summer camp, do a couple of “dry runs” and spend time apart from your children. Send them to sleepovers at friends or even to spend a few days with grandparents or other relatives.
- Let your child or children help in choosing the camp. The more they are involved with the process, the more excited they will be when the time comes.
- Talk about what will go on at camp – using outdoor restrooms, keeping a flashlight handy, etc.
- Send one of their favorite personal items from home – maybe their favorite stuffed animal and even send a letter to your child so that it arrives the first day of camp.
- Do NOT bribe your child to stay at camp!
The inevitable “I hate it here and want to come home” phone call will happen. The best thing to do is stay calm, reassure your child that it will get better and to give it a few more days. Avoid that first instinct to “save” your child and rush right there to pick him or her up. When you talk to your child in a few days, you can re-evaluate the homesickness and see if it really is an urgent case or not.
Lastly, don’t feel guilty about leaving your child at summer camp. This is their first chance to experience independence on some level – encourage them to make the most of it.
We offer a variety of summer camp programs here and would love to have you and your family be apart of them! Enroll early and receive half off your registration! Call our center for details- thank you for reading!