How to handle it when your camper is homesick


Teach your kid how to conquer their sleep-away camp blues with these smart coping strategies to battle homesickness.

As Vancouver mom Kirsten Mihailides was packing her six-year-old son, Teddy, for overnight camp, he suddenly came down with a tummy ache. “He didn’t want to go,” recalls Mihailides. “He kept asking if he would be able to call home.”

To ease Teddy’s first-time-camper fears, Mihailides talked about all the fun things he’d be doing—like paddling a canoe and trying archery—because she knew the experience would help build his confidence.

It worked. This summer, Teddy, now nine years old, is signed up for two weeks of sleepover camp, and he’s totally excited.

Mihailides’s upbeat approach is just what the experts recommend to get kids through the uncertainty of the camp experience. “Parents need to focus on the positive, even if they feel anxious about sending their child away,” stresses Kristen Hyodo, summer camp and outdoor education director at Sasamat Outdoor Centre in Belcarra, BC. “Knowing Mom and Dad are on board with the trip is important for the child,” she adds.

At Sasamat’s overnight camp program, for kids ages eight to 15, Hyodo prefers not to use the term homesick. “When a child hears that word he might think there really is something wrong with him,” she says. Instead, Hyodo tells her campers, “You’re just missing home”—a feeling everyone deals with at some point.

Carla Fry, a psychologist who specializes in child and adolescent anxiety problems, says that unless a kid has a diagnosable condition, such as a panic disorder, being on her own can be a good way to develop important coping skills.

Your child needs stuff in her toolbox to deal with those feelings. Fry’s advice? Accept that some hesitation from your kid is normal. Encourage her to find a friend or a counsellor to confide in should she start to feel uneasy. Then help set realistic goals: not to avoid worry altogether, but to find ways to deal with her emotions. Teach your child to reflect on how she coped during other tricky times and concentrate on the great parts about camp, says Fry. “They can tell themselves, ‘I really enjoy the breakfast here, and I really enjoy my bunkmate,’ or ‘I have so many cool stories to tell my family when I get back.’”

If and when a child does start feeling homesick, the staff is trained to watch for signs—those tummy aches, say—and will take an individualized approach. “Maybe the solution is writing a letter or email to family,” she says.

The phone call home is a last resort. But if you get one, it’s important to stay calm so you can reassure your child and de-escalate the situation. Fry recommends parents ask their upset child to go have a glass of water and take a 10-minute walk with a counsellor. Then, when she calls back, help devise a plan. “That way your kid is shifting from ‘You’ve got to come and get me’ to working on coping,” she says.

Hyodo also recommends attending an open house with your child and, if the camp allows it, sleeping over for a family weekend on-site to build familiarity.

Whatever the strategy, avoid picking up your child early. “If we just save them they learn nothing except that they can’t do it alone,” says Fry.

For Mihailides, all the effort was worth it: “The skills Teddy has learned, he can’t learn anywhere else,” she says. Hyodo stresses those skills go far beyond swimming and boating, and will contribute to a child’s emotional growth. And the best thing, she says? “Kids don’t even realize they’re learning as much as they are.”





Source link

toysforgirls

Toys for Girls

toysforboys

Toys for Boys

craftsupplies

Craft Supplies

babywalker

Baby Walkers

best toothpaste tablets
Best Toothpaste Tablets 2024 – Today’s Parent
tick spray
Best Kid-Safe Spray for Ticks
GettyImages 1191574624
Can You Overfeed a Breastfed Baby?
og image default
7 Books About Kindness for Kids
TP x Belize 1
5 Reasons Why Belize Should Be Your Next Family Vacation Destination
14 Easter Basket Stuffers for Kids
Easter Basket Stuffers for Kids
1 4
14 Kid-Friendly Easter Recipes Ideas to Try
clek foonf
Best Toddler Car Seat 2024
Nicknames for Victoria
250+ Cute, Funny, And Creative Nicknames For Victoria
Top Last Names That Start With J
250+ Top Surnames Or Last Names That Start With J
Persian last names
150+ Popular Persian Last Names Or Surnames, With Meanings
Southern last names
200+ Top Southern Last Names And Meanings
Summer Fun Takes Flight with Viviana Malls Science Fiesta
Summer Fun Takes Flight with Viviana Mall’s Science Fiesta
15 Rebus Puzzles For Kids With Answers And Tips To Solve 2
15 Rebus Puzzles For Kids, With Answers And Tips To Solve
Child temperament is unique for each child
Traits, Types, And Tips To Manage
Sharks are the top predators in the ocean
50 Fun And Interesting Shark Facts For Kids To Know
TP x Tena
I peed my pants at the trampoline park
canadian parents drink less alcohol
Canadian parents are being told they drink way too much and REALLY?!
marie curie science roundup 750x422
Can role playing encourage girls in STEM?
best new period products feature
12 cool and sustainable period products to help manage your flow
maxresdefault
Expresso Show LIVE | Parenting Advice | 9 June 2021 | FULL SHOW
maxresdefault
Daily English Conversation in Parent Teacher Meeting.
maxresdefault
SMART PARENTING HACKS AND CRAFTS #shorts
maxresdefault
Parenting styles Psych 2015