Hey, Camp Preppers!
As anticipating parents, there’s so much you can do to help prevent your kid’s homesickness or even camp-related-anxiety prior to it. It can be a lot to keep in mind, but at the same time it all boils down to the same thing—painting camp in a positive light.
Last week we talked about preventing homesickness by keeping any doubts you may have as parents out of your kid’s head. Another simple key to preventing homesickness is not making the mistake of promising an early pickup.
If your kids are voicing their concerns over their upcoming camp stay, it’s often the easiest answer to tell them that if they feel TOO homesick you’ll come back early to pick them up and take them home. Most first-time campers get a bit of a cold feet feeling as their camp stay approaches and this scenario happens more than you might think.
Lots of parents promise an early pickup and think that they handled the situation well but what they fail to realize is that in promising an early pickup, they’ve planted a seed in their camper’s head. That seed is the idea that even YOU—the camper’s parents—are not filled with absolute confidence about how the camp stay will go.
Kids typically have their own doubts. They certainly don’t need to hear a doubt from you. No matter what form it may be in (such as this seemingly helpful one), it will only have a negative effect. What you need to give kids is a positive reinforcement that they will inevitably have a GOOD TIME at summer camp and that there’s simply nothing to worry about.
Should your child pop the question to you, pointblank: “Will you come get me if I don’t like camp?” your best response is to address their concerns head-on. Say something like “Well, YOU may be worried about it by I really think you’ll love it at camp! Most kids get concerned about their camp stay, but in the end the fun overwhelms any feelings of being homesick.”
It’s also good to keep in mind that having feelings of homesickness is completely normal; we feel them because we miss the things that we love about our lives back home, teaching us to live without them.
Thanks for reading.