There are so many variations of summer camps from sports camps, to science camps, to travel camps and day camps. Each offers their own opportunities for learning new skills, socializing with new and old friends, and developing independence away from home. Some kids adjust easily; others find it hard to feel a sense of belonging and get in step with the camp’s routines. How can a parent help their child adjust?
Parenting Tips on Easing Anxiety
First time experiences away from home can trigger separation anxiety at all ages. It’s typically expected from the youngest kids but tweens and teens trying out a new experience can feel it just the same. Here are some suggestions for easing the transition:
Planning for Travel Camps
Travel camps offer extraordinary adventures for kids to broaden their knowledge of new places and cultures. If your teen is flying solo or going with a friend it still means getting to know new people away from home. Here are some suggestions to help them foresee what’s ahead.
Preparing for Day Camps
The first time experience at a day camp raises high hopes of having a great time mixed with some trepidation about fitting in. Depending on how social your child is and how easy they make friends, preparations vary.
Getting Organized for Sports Camps
Kids who go to sports camps generally love the sport and want to be good at it. These camps can be very rigorous, demanding strenuous physical activity.
Most important, regardless of the camp, is for the kids to have a good time. They will be wondering about your expectations for them, not only their own. Make sure to tell them you want them to enjoy themselves and will help them over any rough patches as the summer goes on. Share in their excitement that they are going to have a new experience and you’re behind them 100%!
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst with specialized clinical training in infant-parent, child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapy. She has been on the faculties of New York University and the Society for Psychoanalytic Study and Research, among others.
She has written extensively on parenting for various publications, including the Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, The International Journal of Infant Observation, The Inner World of the Mother, Newsday’s Parents & Children Magazine, Long Island Parent.
She also wrote her popular column, PARENTAL INTELLIGENCE, at Moms Magazine and has been a parenting expert for numerous publications such as Good Housekeeping.. She currently writes for Active Family Magazine (San Francisco) and blogs for Huffington Post.
Her new book is Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior.
Visit Dr. Laurie’s website: http://lauriehollmanphd.com/