Summer camp can be an exciting time for many kids but those who suffer from anxiety on a regular basis or simply get homesick easily may struggle with having fun at summer camp. If you have anxious kids who are heading off to summer camp, and you want to help prepare them to enjoy their time then these tips for helping anxious kids enjoy summer camp are for you.
Acknowledge Their Feelings
Try to not make light of how your kid feels. Listen to their feelings and try to understand what they’re saying. Have your kids be a part of the planning and preparing for summer camp as much as possible. Discuss ways to help your kid cope with their anxious thoughts, perhaps give them a journal to write down their feelings leading up to, during and after summer camp.
Take your kids shopping for some new gear and summer camp clothing. This will help keep their mind off of those anxious feelings. Your kids will be excited to have new gear and clothes to bring along to summer camp, which will help redirect their focus from their worries about summer camp. Let your kids pack their bags for summer camp so they have something productive to focus on.
Allow your kid to bring something from home that will help calm their anxiety. A special blanket or stuffed animal, perhaps a photo of the family or their favorite animal printed and framed can be a few ways to keep your kids anxiety from consuming them while at summer camp. A journal might be helpful too.
If you went to summer camp as a kid try to share some of your summer camp experiences. Stick to positive experiences and stories that will interest your kids so that they’re intrigued about the idea of going to summer camp and stop worrying so much. If you never went to summer camp, ask friends or family members to come share their own unique summer camp stories with your kids.
These 4 tips for helping anxious kids enjoy summer camp will help you guide your kid forward in preparing for summer camp and alleviating worries before the day comes for them to leave for summer camp. The key is to do your best to stay focused on the positive experiences your kids will have at summer camp, as opposed to other details that may fuel their anxiety to get worse.
Have your kids gone to summer camp? What tips do you have to make sure everyone enjoys the experience?