I feel as parents, we need to believe in our children when they are faced with new challenges. We need to be confident they will be successful. When they do fall/fail (which is OK) we are there to dust them off, love them, and encourage them to try again. It’s what parents do.
Otherwise what we’re really saying is, “I don’t believe you can do this. I don’t have confidence in your ability to cope or handle new and different situations.”
Parents often pass their anxiety and fears onto their children through their well-intentioned “smoothing-the-way.” How many of you have worried about: who your son will sit with on the bus; who will be in his bunk; homesickness; organizing a play date with other campers just so he knows someone?
The above topics, as well as any other areas of concern, should all be talked over and considered with your child. When speaking about any concern – be confident – believe in your child’s ability to handle the challenge. Talk about positive outcomes. “It’s OK if you are homesick – your counselor will be there for you and teach you skills to help deal with the feelings of missing home. You will use these skills the rest of your life!”
A successful camp experience starts at home – with you. Your son is coming to camp – be excited, optimistic and proud that your son is taking the lead in finding his independence and self-reliance. Camp is an extraordinary experience which will provide a lifetime of friends, skills and influence the person he will become. Celebrate his soon-to-be adventure – he is going to remember this for the rest of his life!
I hope I have given you a look into what you should expect – after all it’s the unknown which scares us most.
In closing know this: we have never lost a potential camper to concerns or worries a parent has had prior to or during camp. We have, however, lost a few potential camp parents. Please share our commitment and belief in your son – he can do it!
Camp is set up for your son to be successful, not just at camp, but in life – remember this.