The other day, I was reminiscing with a mother I’d helped years ago. She’d e-mailed me pictures of her children, and you can guess my reaction: “I can’t believe how much they’ve grown!”
We started chatting, and she shared her concerns about her oldest son, who was going to sleep-away camp for three weeks, and her worry that he might be homesick.
The conversation pulled me back in time to my own childhood. I can’t remember my first sleepover at a friend’s house, so it must have gone well. But summer camp was another story. I remember feeling the cold claw of homesickness squeeze my heart as I watched my mom drive away.
Before I knew it, night fell and it was lights out! The cabin was full of hot, steamy, happy little bodies, but when those lights went out, I might as well have been alone and naked in the dark forest.
Of course, I survived and had a fantastic time. But shouldn’t we do everything we can to make the transition to sleep-away camp as easy for our kids – and for us – as possible?
As our conversation progressed, I realized that it’s all about feeling safe and secure. There are things we can give and say to prepare our kids for long periods of time away from home.
· Make sure that your camper has whatever “comfort” stuff he needs – like his own pillow, stuffed animal, or blanket.
· Tell your little one that feeling homesick is natural and that having trouble falling asleep away from home is normal...Read more