How to help your child overcome homesickness at the Summer Camp
09 May 2019
Dr. Christopher Thurber defines homesickness as the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home. These feelings relate to fears of the unknown, fears of failure, fears of loss of loved ones, and overall anxiety.
Homesickness is common, and it usually manifests in stomach-aches, headaches, misbehaving and statements of “disliking camp and missing home”. Generally, it lasts for a short period of time and the camper adjusts to camp by feeling familiar with their surroundings, schedule, friends, and counsellors. The key to dealing with homesickness is to try and prevent it by preparing your child before camp.
Here are a few tips and suggestions:
Do not make promises or rescue deals like, “I’ll pick you up from the camp next week if you are still unhappy”, or, “I’ll call you on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.”. These statements will only prolong homesickness.
Conversations on the phone are useful but not if your child depends on it every day. The camp is a time for your child to be with everyone else and learn how to be away from home.
Research has shown that 95% of all children miss something about home while away at the camp. Even though homesick feelings are common, most kids enjoy themselves tremendously at overnight summer camps. Homesickness, and getting over it, is a normal process that helps children develop independence and self-confidence.
Recommended Readings: We have a common interest – the growth, safety, and happiness of your children. Good communication among campers, counsellors, parents and directors is essential. There are many excellent books on parenting and child development. Here are a few books that you may want to read:
*taken from Neotops tips for dealing with homesickness.
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