Avoid being ‘child sick’ this summer...

Whether it’s your child’s first time coming to summer camp or their tenth time, it’s very likely that THEY will miss you and be a little bit homesick and YOU will miss them and feel a bit ‘child sick’. To help your children get the most out of the experience and to help you along the way, we have some suggestions...

1. Prepare your child for homesickness

We recently shared another blog post on the importance of discussing homesickness with your children before camp begins as it is a completely natural feeling. Share your own experience of being away from home as a child with your children, what worked for you? How did you overcome that feeling? It will be much more reassuring to you knowing your child knows it’s okay to miss home and to verbalise that with their peers and Dorm Leader.

2. Keep yourself busy

teenage campers fire building uk british international summer camp
teenage campers fire building uk british international summer camp

This might be the longest period you have ever had away from your children and it is important that you keep yourself busy. Let your hair down and don’t have any guilty feelings. As parents, our brains are wired to wonder where our children are and how they are doing. They are in good hands at summer camp and if we need you, we will call you! If you are reassured that your children are okay, we hope it will make you feel less 'child sick'.

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3. Send your children letters

Receiving a hand written letter from Mum or Dad can be incredibly comforting to your child and more valuable than an email or package. It will be a little piece of you they can keep with them during their stay and a great way of you knowing they know you are still thinking about them and how proud you are. Don’t forget to post letters to camp in advance, particularly if your children are coming from overseas – we don’t want letters arriving after they have gone home!

4. Help your child to practice their independence skills before they go to camp

If you know that your child is as independent as they can be before they go to camp, you can be comforted in knowing they will flourish during their time at camp. Spending time away from you, having sleepovers with friends and family members gives them the chance to practice being away from you. Teaching your child how to pack and unpack their belongings means they know where their belongings are and what was packed. And finally, discussing with them who to speak to when they have a problem at camp ensures you that they will not suffer in silence.

5. Don’t make any false promises

“We will come and get you if you are still feeling homesick on day 3.” This is one of the worst things you can say to your children. Feeling homesick is fine, but we can work together with your child to help them overcome that feeling or at the very least ease it and get them through their stay. You might hold onto that statement hoping they will want to come home which is lovely that they miss home and want to see you but it is not something they will thank you for in the future.

6. Trust us

We have been running summer camps for over twenty years so have lots of experience in dealing with home sickness. If you child does contact you and you are concerned, please make sure they have informed a member of our team so that we can help them. Some children are great at hiding their emotions which unfortunately means we are unable to see they need a bit of support from us. We need you as a parent to then trust us and use our expertise to help your child and sometimes that does mean having limited or no contact with them – in the long run this will be much more beneficial to your child.

Feel free to give us a call if you would like more reassurance and advice on how to avoid ‘child sickness’ this summer!