Away from Home for the First Time (Giveaway)
This giveaway is no longer accepting entries. Congratulations to our winner Amanda!
Sending your child off to summer camp can often be a milestone in and of itself for parents. You have raised a child who can now go into the world without your direct supervision and enjoy and explore her world…under the direct supervision of other trustworthy adults.
While the parent may need his or her own preparation for this milestone, let us focus here on how to prepare children for their own milestone.
- Make sure you have evaluated your child’s skill, interests and development so he or she can fit in well in a specific camp environment.
- Actively involve your child in choosing a camp if he or she has not initiated the process on their own already.
- Work with your physician and her office to get a pre-camp health evaluation. The earlier this is thought of, the less cumbersome the process.
- Begin to decrease the potential of significant homesickness. Visit the camp, if possible, or spend time browsing the website. Consider arranging a buddy to go with your child if it is the first time and the camp allows for such a situation. Arrange for sleepovers and overnights at grandparents’ homes. Still, remember homesickness can often be inevitable and developmentally appropriate. So, if you are called to come in and swoop up your child-don’t take it personally.
- PLAN. Pack several weeks ahead and review the checklist together with your child. If possible, send a letter to your child so it arrives when he arrives at the camp.
- Talk to your child about potential fears and concerns (without introduction of your own fears).
- Be realistic and try not to hype it up too much – your child is likely very excited and hyped up already.
Critically, make sure the camp itself is ready for your child. For instance, it should follow very specific safety and nutritional standards. It should have an emergency plan for infectious outbreaks and encourage good hygiene practice among campers. Who knows- your child may come back with hygiene principles that you have tried for years to instill in her. Camps also need to follow other specific guidelines including that of physical activity. Look to resources including American Camp Association and Healthychildren.org for more guidelines.
Finally, share in your child’s excitement and recognize this milestone together.
Leave a comment on this post answering this question: When was the first time you spent the night away from home?
Prize: 1 $10 Target gift card
Rules: Giveaway closes on Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 11pm CST. Open to Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois residents only. One entry per email address is permitted. The winner will be selected using random.org and announced on the following Monday as an update to this post. Winner will be notified via email and asked to provide a mailing address to receive the prize; if the winner does not respond within 7 days, the winner forfeits the prize and another winner will be selected. Subscribe to the blog and you’ll get new posts delivered to your inbox as soon as they’re posted.