How to Deal With a Homesick Child
Is your kiddo homesick at their sleep away camp? As a parent, it can feel pretty awful to hear them crying over the phone, or receive an email that describes their despair. But, the worst thing you can do is remove a child from that situation. Trust me, I’ve been there. Here are a few things I did for my homesick child.
- Prevention is Key
Prior to camp, I had a lot of conversations about what it means to be homesick. I was sure to give examples of times I’ve personally felt this way, so my child understood it’s a normal emotion. You can also read Bugbites and Campfires (among other homesick stories) to help introduce the concept to your child.
- Visit the Camp Ahead of Time
Children have a fear of the unknown. Why not make it a point to make them feel more comfortable since they’ll be away from home for a bit, by visiting the camp ahead of time. They’ll be able to see where they’ll eat, play, and sleep. This helped to ease some anxiety and uneasiness my son had.
- Plan Out Coping Strategies
Devise a plan in case kids start to feel sad and lonely. It should be totally personalized to make them feel more at ease. Can they write down how they’re feeling in a journal, squeeze a stress ball, look at some pictures you packed, or immediately give you a call? My son opted for packed pictures. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll be showing your child that you anticipate them missing home, and are teaching them there are things they can do to gain peace. However, one of them is not being picked up and taken home.
These three tips and tricks helped my child deal with a bad case of homesickness, and it will help yours too. It’s made out of a Styrofoam cup and has crinkly arms and legs