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Don’t Let Your Child See Your Anxiety About Camp

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Hey, Camp Fans!

Continuing our weekly visit back to the subject of homesickness, I have another excellent piece of advice for all of you anticipating parents: Keep your doubts to yourself. Whatever worries you might have about how your kid’s summer camp stay will go—those thoughts don’t need to be a part of your kid’s world.

In fact, it’s those kinds of thoughts and helpless concerning that produces homesickness. Showing your concerns about your kid’s time away at camp only plants the concept in your kid’s head that camp is something they need to ‘get through’ as opposed to something they can actually ENJOY!

It shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn that worry can be contagious. You’ve seen it happen plenty of times with kids of your own. Maybe you can even remember experiencing it when you were a kid. Psychological research in the late 90’s dubbed it ‘anxiety transmission’. The most common form of anxiety transmission starts with parents and gets passed on to the kid.

It’s very common for kids to suffer anxiety transmission about their school life and the same holds true for summer camp.

Anything even remotely close to a concern is something that your kid should never hear. All they should hear as the summer camp season approaches is how excited they should be and how excited you are for them. Tell them how much they’ll love camp and how you look forward to hearing about all the new experiences they’ll have had.

Now before I go on, let me just say that it’s pretty much impossible for a parent not to worry over their kid’s time away from home. You have to worry! You’re a parent! Just because you have the concern doesn’t mean your kid needs to know about it.

And just because you can’t share your worries with your kid doesn’t mean you need to bottle your feelings up and carry the weight alone. You can confide in your spouse or friend, colleague—anyone who’ll understand your concerns.

Letting your worries be heard by the right person can often leave you feeling calmer for it too which is definitely an emotion you can share with your kid! Thanks for reading!


- John


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