Do you remember your first summer camp? If it felt like it was yesterday, then we’re sorry to say that you’re getting old. This feeling is amplified when you realize that you have a child getting ready to attend his or her first summer camp.
One more thing: do you remember you very first summer camp? Yep, you were nervous the entire time.
But, as a parent, you don’t have to make your child a nervous wreck. How? Preparation!
Here are five tips for preparing your child for their first summer camp:
1. Make Your Kid a Part of the Process
So, your child is interested in going away for a few weeks this summer to a camp – tennis, camping, math, etc. This is a great learning experience for your child, but since this is their request, it is up to you to facilitate this journey by incorporating them into this process.
By excluding your son or daughter and making it about what you want, you’re only getting off the wrong foot. Remember, they’re interested in baseball, not hockey. They want to study computers, not the clarinet. You may have wanted to do those things, but this isn’t about you.
From the moment you contact a summer camp to the time they come back home, include your kids.
2. Ensure They Have the Essentials
How many times have summer camp facilities contacted the parents and told them that their child is missing a few essentials? The answer is likely plenty. But it doesn’t have to be this way – you can do a much better job. And you will!
Once you begin to pack their bags, have a checklist and follow it meticulously – it can be one provided by the organization or one you found on the Internet.
This will guarantee that their kid has a sufficient amount of socks and underwear.
And, whatever you do, don’t pack anything that is superfluous, whether it’s a pack of baseball cards or their tablet charger.
Are you now prepared?
3. Be Around When They Need You
Since this is likely the first time your kid has been away from home, they’re going endure separation anxiety or will miss you and the family. They will feel homesick and they’ll probably try to contact you whenever they get the first chance.
Will you around to answer that call? You better be!
While having your children head to summer camp for a couple of weeks is a respite for you and your significant other, you’re still a parent and you’re still needed by your son or daughter.
If you can’t be by the telephone at home all the time, then ensure that your kids will have your cellphone number. This way, if you’re at the supermarket or at the opera, you can step aside and answer it.
4. Pack Something from Home
Again, your kids will feel homesick, since this is the first time they’ve been away from the family. It can be a difficult time. So, what’s the solution? That’s simple enough: pack somethings from home.
This could consist of a stuffed animal, a family picture, their favourite item, or a cup for their beverages. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just simply inserting this item into their bag will make them relieved.
5. I’m Not Crying – You’re Crying!
Finally, when you drop your child at the bus stop or at the facility, there is one thing you can’t do: cry.
Remember, your child is inevitably feeling a wide array of emotions. If they see you shed tears, then they might start to crumble or second guess their independence, which is what you should never let occur.
Hold back your tears. And, by all means, once you’re in the car back home, you can let it all out.
They say that summer is the most wonderful time of the year – but only if the kids are off and gone to camp. The other most wonderful time of the year is September, when they return to the classroom.
A summer camp is a joyous occasion for your children because of not what they’re doing, but because they’re on their own and experiencing the world by themselves without an accompanying adult to supervise. A lot of parents forego summer camp because they want to shield their kids from the real world – not you, though!
If your kid is excited but anxious to go to summer camp, then it is your job to foster an environment where the anxiety dissipates and the excitement builds.