When a child goes to sleep away camp for the first time, the campers experience with homesickness is usually the focus. Unfortunately, the emotional toll a parent endures during their first camp experience is often left unaddressed.
Often this period of separation is more difficult for parents than it is for the camper. Campers are here in a fun, exciting environment. They don’t have much time to miss home. They are busy meeting new friends, experiencing great activities, and having the time of their lives. Parents, however, are often at home missing their child, figuring out how to fill time, normally spent focused on caring for their child, and perhaps even worrying about how their child is doing at camp
“Kidsickness” refers to those emotions some parents experience during separation from their child, which often occurs for the first time while they are away at summer camp. Some parents adjust easily to having their child away, while others struggle with sadness and anxiety while their child is at camp.
Here are a few helpful tips to help overcome kidsickness:
Keep In Touch
One special and unique thing about camp is that it is one of the only places where children and parents exchange hand-written letters. Campers love receiving letters and postcards from home, so be sure to keep a steady stream of mail coming to your camper. Let friends and relatives know your camper’s address at camp, so they can send mail too! While it is difficult for parents to go for two weeks without hearing their child’s voice on the phone, remember that the independence your child is gaining is invaluable. Letters you receive from your child while they are at camp may be some of the only written memories you will have from their childhood. What treasures, save them!
Remember the Benefits
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd
Why did you decide to send your child to camp? Remembering the many benefits your child will gain from the experience will make the separation easier and remind you of the gift you are giving your child by allowing them to have this experience:
- Independence: The chance to build confidence in their ability to be away from parents.
- Break from technology: The opportunity to live technology-free and focus on building face-to-face relationship skills.
- Fun & Relaxation: Two weeks to just be a kid. Enjoying non-competitive fun, and a much-needed break from the stresses of school, competitive sports, and busy schedules.
- Friends: New friends made at camp often become year-round, life-long friends. Campers get to meet kids from all over the world!
Take Care of Yourself
While your child is at camp we encourage you to take time to have some quality experiences yourself. It’s a great time to do projects and trips that are not kid focused or perhaps not so kid-friendly. Take the time to treat yourself to some fun, friends, and growth while your child is doing the same at Camp! You will both gain from this enriching camp experience and both have stories to share when back together.
We are always here, directly involved with your camper and we need your trust in order for your camper’s experience to be a success.
If you are still feeling anxious….
We have a phone line just for you!
Call us on our Camp Mom Line, leave a quick message, and we’ll return your call just as soon as we can with a quick update on your camper!