Summer is the time for sleep-overs and camps. Is your child ready to be away from home for the night, or a few nights? Homesickness is just the big-kid version of separation anxiety. It is a normal reaction especially for kids who haven’t spent much time away from their parents.

Here are some ways to help your child be a successful, happy camper:

  • Rehearse. If your child has not already spent the night away from home, arrange for a sleepover with a friend or relative before heading off to camp.

  • Scope it out. Involve your child in deciding the camp to attend. Take an opportunity to visit before camp begins. If possible, meet the staff and tour the grounds. If a visit is not possible, spend some time studying the website or brochure.

  • Be positive. Acknowledge that they may miss home at first, but focus on all the opportunities available.

  • Keep the mailman busy. Send a letter or package that will be there when your child arrives.

  • Pack some comfort. Send stuff that will make them feel at home, like a favorite CD, or small book of photos.

  • Sign up with a friend. A good buddy from home is the ultimate security blanket, making your child feel more at ease and confident.

  • Don’t cave. If your child calls, begging to return home, stay upbeat and express confidence they can stick it out. Of course, use your judgment as a parent if you are genuinely concerned and talk to a counselor or camp director. In most cases, the homesickness will pass and your child will have an incredible time!


Adapted from an article in Suburban Parent