It’s not hard to figure out that homesickness gets in the way of having full-on fun when at summer camp. We haven’t gotten this far in the summer fun planning to let your kids have a so-so adventure!
After doing a little research, we found that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes that the best way to deal with homesickness is prevention. So what can you do about it? Following are THREE tips to help you prevent separation anxiety.
First things first, acknowledge that it is normal to feel homesick.
This allows you to discuss prevention and coping mechanisms like writing letters home, sharing feelings with other people, and thinking about all the good things that camp is giving them.
Encourage your kids to make new friends throughout the year.
Familiarity helps.Your child will be confident and comfortable if he or she knows that there are plenty of people that share similar interests. Are there other campers in your area going to the same camp? Try to arrange a meet-up ahead of time.
Be careful what you say.
You may have the best intentions but comments like ‘are you going to be ok’ or ‘I don’t know what to do without you’ do not help. It can create worry and anxiety that otherwise would not be there. One more thing to be careful of is creating a ‘back up’ or ‘just in case’ plans. It may seem intuitive BUT sometimes it can send a message that you are not confident in your child’s ability to be independent. Use this tactic with caution.
Practice creates the confidence needed for independence. That is what makes summer camp great preparation for the college years and adulthood. If you want to read more about homesickness prevention, click here to view the full AAP article.
Hopefully, you have selected your camp by now but the good news is that it is not too late. Many camps still have availability for the full summer or shorter stays. If you have any questions or concerns about summer camp, feel free to call me at (561) 995-5633 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.