24 Mar Summer camp, oh what to do?
By Carol M. Shirley
8 weeks of summer can feel like an eternity when you are looking for child care. Trying to balance child care while working to ensure your child has a positive experience can be overwhelming. Summer camps are often the answer.
I believe it would be prudent to involve your children in the decision-making process of choosing a fit that’s right for them.
We know people are more likely to participate with a positive attitude when we are involved in the birth of the plan. Talk with your children about their preferences, the parts they are excited about and the parts they are concerned about. It’s not possible to talk people out of their fears. But its advisable to listen.
When we minimize the fear, they tend to feel like you’re not listening and they are not being heard.
You don’t need to “fix” anything. Just listen. For more anxious children it may be a good idea to introduce them to the location, spend some time getting familiar with the venue.
Allow your children to pack their own stuff, help them figure out what they will need, help them gather it but let them pack their bag so they can find the things they are looking for. Let them know (generally) what you will be doing while they are at camp. It’s also a good idea to celebrate any special dates (Birthdays, etc) that fall while your child is away either before or after they return, so they too can be a part of the celebration. Children are very sensitive to your emotions. Show them you believe they will be safe. Help them to understand the skills they will learn and the value of them having these skills.
“Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on the earth, for what they believe they will become.” B. Hampton.