It is important to discuss the Greek summer camp with your kids in advance so that they have as clear a picture as possible of the experiences they will gain there. Discuss strategies with your kids that can reduce their stress.
Talk positively about the camp experience so that children look forward to it, as a precious gift. Talk to them about the activities they can engage in, mention that it is a good opportunity to make new friends and acquire new skills, but at the same time they will have some obligations (e.g. they will take responsibility for themselves, make their beds or manage their pocket money).
Let them express their concerns
It is important to give your children space and time to express their concerns about the camp and their separation from you. Their concerns should be treated with respect, but without exaggerations. Once you listen to their thoughts, then you can discuss possible solutions. Also, it is important to encourage them to continue expressing their feelings to you or a member of the camp with whom they feel comfortable.
It is their decision
The conversation helps your kids get involved in the final decision on whether to go camping or not. This strategy will allow them to feel that they control the situation rather than feel that separation from their parents has been imposed on them.
If possible, arrange sleepovers in a friend’s house or you may follow the camp’s program for a few days.
Set goals together
Ask what would make them happy in the camp and set goals together so that they can concentrate on the positive experience of the camp. Focus on sports and activities they can do well and avoid negative thoughts.
Highlight the dates of the camp in the calendar, so that children know how long they will be away from their parents.
Keep your anxiety to yourselves
You need to remain positive about this experience. Your fear is very easily detected and transmitted to your kids so it would be advisable to take this experience positively and with enthusiasm. Research has shown that children who strongly experience the separation’s anxiety, children who cry and want to leave, have parents who experience their own anxiety for separation more strongly.
Leave your children at the camp and say goodbye to them soon, warmly hugging them, but without exaggerated emotional excitement.
For more summer camp tips click here.