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Don't Ignore Summer Camp Homesickness

February 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 117

As a young child, going away to summer camp for the first time can be both an exciting and extremely stressful experience. Because homesickness is a natural feeling for many children who will be away from home for the first time, it is important to remember not only what to do, but especially what not to do as well.

There are many pro-active steps families can take leading up to summer camp to help quell the feelings of homesickness that may be growing in their sons or daughters. Whether it is practicing staying elsewhere at a relative or friend's home or discussing personal feelings abut the matter with the child, it is important to make sure that your kids know that you understand what they are going through and that you are there to support them.

At the same time, homesickness is something that each boy or girl will eventually have to get over as they grow up. Because of this, it is also important for parents to know where to draw the line when it comes to bending over backwards to comfort your child.

First and foremost, it is important to remember that the goal at the end of the summer camp is for your child to have confidence and a new level of comfort in his or her ability to stay away from home. With this in mind, it becomes especially important to avoid bribing children with rewards if they are able to complete their time out of the house. You are looking to instill a comfort level and not set up a cause-and-effect that will linger in their minds.

It is also helpful to avoid discussing with your son or daughter the fact that you will come get them if it is needed. While you should obviously plan to be available to pick your children up if needed, the idea is to help them develop confidence on their own, and this is often done best when the young person is forced to persevere.

Don't be afraid to talk your child into something he or she may be balking at either. Many times children will call mom or dad and attempt to convince them to come pick them up. In this instance, as a parent your first instinct will likely be to come to your son or daughter's rescue. Instead, try to calmly reassure them that they can still do this and that everything will be okay.

If, at the end of such a discussion, it is still necessary for them to leave summer camp, don't get upset. Keep a positive, reassuring face on and help to convince them that their next attempt at this will be more successful.

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