Handling Pre-Camp Anxiety
For some kids, separation anxiety can get right in the way of fun. It can, in some cases, even lead to physical symptoms like stomach and headaches. With anxiety in the way, camp isn’t the fun, carefree experience it should be. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts we recommend for sending an anxious child to camp.
Do: Listen to their worries and keep an open dialogue about them.
Don’t: Belittle their worries or show that you’re worried, too. Keep an open mind, show support, but stay strong and comforting in the process. Showing your own anxiety can increase your child’s.
Do: Let your child take a favorite stuffed animal or toy to camp that reminds him or her of home. A comforting note or memento can go a long way in a new and unfamiliar situation.
Don’t: Cut off communication. If your child has severe anxiety, talk to us about setting up a daily phone call to touch base and let them know everything is going to be okay.
Do: Prepare your child with relaxation techniques. Having these tools in his or her back pocket can help alleviate anxiety throughout the day.
Don’t: Overcomplicate these activities. Breathing in and out slowly and counting to ten works—something a child can remember and use on his or her own.
Do: Keep your goodbyes short and cheery. If your child sees that you aren’t upset about sending him or her off to camp, it will make the situation less anxious all around.
Don’t: Indulge in anxiety along with your child while saying goodbye, or let him or her see you are upset in any way.
Keep these tools in mind to ensure your child makes the most of his or her summer at Day Camp In The Park!