Is Your Child Ready For Camp?

How do you know when your child is ready for camp?

ready-for-camp.jpgHow do you know when your child is ready for summer camp?

Multi-level emotions exist, for sure.  1.  Is your child ready?  2.  Are you ready to let them go?  3.  What are the fears and how do you manage them?

First,  click here to take a short assessment to determine readiness.   This will help identify some of the questions you may have as to your child's readiness. 

Second, determine your readiness.  If you are ready to send them to camp, there is a very good chance you went to sleepaway camp and had a wonderful experience.  And of course, you want the same wonderful experiences for your child.  

If you are not ready, you most certainly are not alone.  There are many reasons you may not be ready.   For example, you did attend, had a bad  experience and want to shield your child from that pain.  You are not financially ready to support the cost of sleepaway camp.  You have several children at home and you are waiting for all the children to be old enough to go together.  There are so many other reasons, but now we tip into the concept of fear.

The third step towards analysis is identifying the fears that exist, for you and your child, such as:

Homesickness:  A very valid fear that is often the result of the parent's own experience.  If your child is very attached to you, and you believe they will have great difficulty going away, there are steps you can take to help them through the challenges.  The greatest gift you can give your child is to teach them how to leave you successfully and learn to be independent.  The right camp is well versed in dealing with homesickness and helping a child overcome the experience.  And of course, the best part of experiencing homesickness is successfully overcoming it, on your own, and know to never fear going away again.

Bulllying:  Another valid fear that every parent holds, especially those who were bullied as a child, is bullying. Summer camp provides an environment of sharing and caring, low ratios and staff who have been trained intensively regarding bullying.  However, your child must be attending the “right” camp.  Sending a sweet, non-competitive child into a top-notch sports camp on the East Coast is a recipe for disaster.  Sending a child to a camp where all the other children come from the same neighborhood except for her is a terrible mistake.  Sending a child to a camp where all of the other children have been friends for six years and your child is the “new kid” will almost guarantee unhappiness.  Proper selection is critical to avoid bullying and unhappiness.  

Empty Nest Syndrome:  This is real.  And it is a good exercise for you and your spouse to experiencerefresh.jpg

early on in your life of parenting.  You in fact, may need your child more than your child needs you.  Without your child around, you can feel a loss of purpose; you may need to truly speak TO your spouse rather than AT your spouse through your children.  You may feel at a loss not having constant and immediate access to your child and their needs via ie phone calls or texting.  Remember, even if you let go and your child “grows up”, he will return to you with all of the excitement and happiness which she will eagerly want to share with you.  This is the sign of a healthy, happy developing relationship.  Let go of the fear!

Throughout the process, remember the wonderful goal of summer camp is to unplug, discover independence, learn how to deal with “issues” without the intervention of mom and dad, and ultimately for your child to become independent and productive.  At camp, the children learn to make their own decisions and deal with their own consequences.  That is life and they get to learn these fabulous skills at a very early age.  

And don't worry.  Most camps these days have scheduled phone calls and the daily papparazzi taking thousands of photos of the children.  You will get your fix!


Posted: 11/29/2016 2:45:25 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments