Your kids have gone to camp. Now comes the hard part: Parenting them while they aren’t living at your house! While they are away, we know there are myriad thoughts going through your head. Are they having fun? Are they making friends? Are they eating enough nutritious food? Are they learning something new? Did they shower today?
All of these thoughts are perfectly natural, but it’s how we act on them that is the important part. Kids go to camps or summer programs for many reasons — to learn, to meet new friends, to navigate life “on their own.” Giving them the proper space to do that is a very hard thing to do, but it is the key to a successful experience.
Here is a list of recommended “Dos and Don’ts” of summer camp parenting:
Do give your child pictures of home to hang on their walls. Home is important and it is important for them to have reminders of their amazing family back home.
Don’t call, text and email every day. It is important that they focus on being fully present at their program. Too much contact with home can take away from that.
Do discuss real, actionable goals for the summer with your kids. It helps them focus on each day while they are gone.
Don’t be too critical of them if they fall a little short on those goals. Part of summer is meant to explore new things and have some fun.
Do allow your kids to experience the general ups and downs of their experience. There can be some homesickness, especially if this is their first time away from home. This is a growing experience that you should allow to happen.
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