For many kids of all ages summer is a time to venture away from home. For all children there is the first time. This they may have experienced on their first day of school. For some children separation from parents or a house for a few hours is just fine. For other children it is a much greater struggle. Now when summer comes around sending children off for even just a week for what is considered “a taste of sleep away camp” can and should be a great experience. But believe it or not, many children, to a certain degree get home sick.
What is it about the home that makes our children become homesick when they are away from home? Let’s take a look at the lyrics of the song Home from the Musical “The Wiz” and see what Dorothy sang when she was far away from home:
When I think of home I think of a place
Where there’s love overflowing
I wish I was home I wish I was back there
With the things I’ve been knowin’
Wind that makes the tall grass bend into leaning
Suddenly the raindrops that fall they have a meaning
Sprinkling the scene
Makes it all clean
Maybe there’s a chance for me to go back
Now that I have some direction
It would sure be nice to back home
Where there’s love and affection
And just maybe I can convince time to slow up
Giving me enough time in my life to grow up
Time be my friend
Let me start again
Living here in this brand new world might be a fantasy
But it’s taught me to love so it’s real to me
And I’ve learned that we must look inside our hearts to find
A world full of love like yours and mine
If your child’s been to sleep-away camp before, was their homesickness manageable? If this will be your child’s first overnight camp experience, are you overly concerned about how they will fair?
Before sending your child off to camp there are a few things you can do to help your child beat homesickness
- Tell your child homesickness is normal, that it means he or she has a home that he or she loves.
- Empathize with your child’s fears, but do not get infected by them.
- Express confidence in your child’s resilience and admiration for his or her courage in going to camp.
- Tell your child you are sure he or she will get help from counselors and friends when needed.
- And, please, tell your children you want them to have fun. Children need to go off to camp with your blessing, not your anxiety.