Advertisement

The Dos and Don'ts of Homesickness


For millions of children, youth, and adults, summer camp is right around the corner. Camp is a unique environment that promotes growth and independence. For many families in today’s plugged-in society, camp is the first real separation they have experienced, and many parents may be worried about homesickness—both for their happy camper and for themselves. 

Research indicates that homesickness is normal. It is common for campers and parents to feel a tinge of homesickness at some point during the camp session. So, how can parents help? The American Camp Association (ACA) recommends the following do’s and don’ts families can use to help deal with homesickness:

DO

Encourage independence throughout the year. Practice separations, such as sleepovers at a friend's house, can simulate the camp environment.

Involve your child in the process of choosing a camp.The more that the child owns the decision, the more comfortable the child will feel being at camp.

Understand the camp’s philosophy on how issues like homesickness are addressed.Talk candidly with the camp director to understand his/her perspective on your child's adjustment.

Discuss what camp will be like before your child leaves. Consider role-playing anticipated situations, such as using a flashlight to find the bathroom.

Reach an agreement ahead of time on calling each other.If your child's camp has a no-phone-calls policy, honor it.

Send a note or care package ahead of time to arrive the first day of camp.Acknowledge, in a positive way, that you will miss your child. For example, you can say, "I am going to miss you, but I know that you will have a good time at camp."

Pack a personal item from home, such as a stuffed animal.

Trust your instincts.While most incidents of homesickness will pass in a day or two, approximately 7 percent of the cases are severe. If your child is not eating or sleeping because of anxiety or depression, parents should work with the camp director and other camp staff to evaluate the situation.

Remember that camp staff members are trained to ease homesickness.

DON'T

Bribe. Linking a successful stay at camp to a material object sends the wrong message. The reward should be your child’s newfound confidence and independence.

Plan an exit strategy. If a “rescue call” comes from the child, offer calm reassurance and put the time frame into perspective.

Feel guilty about encouraging your child to stay at camp. For many children, camp is a first step toward independence and plays an important role in their growth and development.

Make your child feel like a failure if their stay at camp is cut short. Focus on the positive and encourage your child to try camp again next year.

Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

01 Aug 2016


Recent Articles more articles

Mamas Never Get Vacation, Not Even at the Beach!

in Get Out of Town, Things To Do, Family Life, Mari Walker, Summer Fun

Packing up and hitting a beach somewhere along the Gulf seems to be an annual event for most middle- and upper-class families in our area, at least according to my Facebook feed. This year, we decided to join the fray, meeting my in-laws from Virgini

Is This Our New Normal?

in Family Life, Joy Holden

Barry, oh Barry. You arrived late and then left without making much of an impression. And we are grateful! Your tardiness and lack of effort were quite welcome to those of us still suffering from storm shock. Let me just say, on behalf of all the 201

Chocolate Milk Burps, Gummy Bears and the Joy of Childhood

in Crafts and Cooking, Things To Do, Family Life, Amy Delaney

Raise your hand if you LOVE that gummy bear commercial where a group of distinguished looking grown-ups sit around in a boardroom discussing how their gummy bears are “gooder” than others.

Finding My Zen Through Reading

in Kelly Carmena, Health and Wellness, Family Life, Summer Fun, Turn the Page

Lately, I have struggled to find time for training. Between the closing of my daycare, work, and packing for an eventual move to a new house, I have had very little time for myself. In fact, much of my free time has been spent KonMori’ing my current

Featured Listings more listings

Our Lady of Mercy School

in Private Schools

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School provides foundations for a life of prayer, knowledge, and service.

Celebration Station

Celebration Station

in Party Venues

Celebration Station parties are a great time for everyone. With each party, you and your child's birthday party guests can feast on pizza, play arcade games, score some tickets, win prizes, ride the go-karts and bumper cards, ride and play for hours

Southern University Laboratory School

in Private Schools

Southern University Laboratory School is committed to providing a nationally-competitive college preparatory education to each of its students and serving as a state-of-the-art laboratory for education innovation and the development of superior edu

GEO Prep Academies of Greater Baton Rouge

in Charter Schools

Geo Prep Academies consists of 3 free public charter schools serving K-9th - GEO Prep Academy, GEO Prep Mid-City, and GEO Next Generation High School. For each and every child that walks through our doors, college is an expectation.

Advertisement
Newsletter