Is it time to send your child to summer camp? The weeks leading up to summer camp can result in an immense amount of anxiety. While some children might feel homesick for only a few minutes until they mingle and meet new friends, others can take time to adjust. Some children can experience separation anxiety that can result in them not having a fun time. When this occurs, children often find ways to make their way home.
However, in the weeks leading up to the big send-off, parents can assist in helping children feel more prepared to leave for camp. Instead of being fearful for the first time, children can be excited in hopes of meeting new friends and gaining new experiences.
How to Ease Summer Camp Anxiety
As summer camp approaches, parents can help children overcome their fears by simply providing them with the tools they need.
Going away for a long time can be new for a child. While it might seem as if it is the parents’ idea to send them off over the summer, it is possible to make children receive ownership of the decision. When a child claims ownership of picking summer camp, they are able to identify more with why they want to go. Familiarizing children with their camping options and what activities are involved can assist a child in creating expectations.
Rather than leaving the excitement for camp last minute, children should anticipate camp for months. The anticipation can allow the fact that they will be away from home to sink in as they consider the time to come. Taking children camping for tools and items they will need can help ease them into the process. Allowing kids to focus on the good and what they can expect can gain a momentum of excitement.
Do Not Dwell On the Negative
While it might be tempting to address a child’s anxiety, it is best to not focus on it. Allowing a child to talk through fears is healthy, but dwelling on the fears instead of the excitement can allow for the fear to become greater. Simply asking open-ended questions, such as “how are you feeling about participating in this activity,” rather than, “are you nervous about this activity,” can make all the difference.
When a child becomes vulnerable and answers the question honestly. If they lead with anxiety, attempt to not brush aside the worries mentioned. Express concern over their feelings and show they are acknowledged.
At some point in their life, parents have been away from home at a younger age. Reflecting on experiences away from home, whether short or long, can assist in making children less anxious. Describing activities participated in and share past positive aspects of experiences. Be willing to discuss new activities from sleeping to meeting new friends.
While away at camp, children may anticipate not being able to reach their parents throughout their time there. However, parents can make communication simple. By packing envelopes and stamps, parents should encourage their kids to write to them daily if needed. If the camp’s phone line availability is known, children can be made aware about this type of communication.
Leave Parent Anxiety Aside
Parents might think they are the only ones with anxiety, but it is often not true, as read from above. Parents can transfer their anxieties to their kids. Parents should keep their anxieties from becoming verbalized, so their child remains confident.
When searching for the perfect summer camp, check out Camp Live Oak in Ft. Lauderdale. From scuba diving to archery and canoeing, what more can you ask for? For more information, contact Camp Live Oak Today!