Good Ways To Express Your Feelings (as a Parent) About Camp
May 1, 2019 by Darby Dame
Talking to your child about camp can be exciting, nerve-racking, and sometimes challenging. There are good and not so good ways to express your feelings (as a parent) about camp. Using Dr. Chris Thurber’s book, The Summer Camp Handbook, we will give you guidelines. (If you are looking for a great book to read as a parent before camp —> Buy it on Amazon)
As children head off to camp, they need encouragement, approval, and the belief that their parents believe they can do that.
Say This, Not That
Survive Without ME
Parent Says – “Have a great time at camp, John, I don’t know what I will do without you. Child Thinks – “I shouldn’t go to camp because my parents will not survive without me”.
Parent Says– “Have a great time at camp, John. I am so excited for your adventure”. Child Thinks – “I should go to camp. My parents will be okay at home!”
You Will Be Bored
Parent Says – “I know you will have so much fun at camp. I will be bored at home.” Child Thinks – “I should stay home.. my parents need me here to not be bored”.
Parent Says – “I know you will have so much fun at camp. I will be busy at work and with friends.” Child Thinks – “My parents have stuff to do while I am gone, they won’t be bored so I can go to camp”.
Oh No, Homesickness!
Parent Says – “I love camp when I went. I was really homesick though.”
Child Thinks – “Camp is good. No wait, camp is bad. I’m going to be really homesick, just like my dad”.
Parent Says – “I loved camp when I went. I did miss home a little which is very normal. But I went back to camp for many years in a row!”
Child Thinks – “It is normal to miss home, mom missed home. If she missed home and still loved camp, I can too!”.
Camp Is Too Long
Parent Says – “Three Weeks sounds great. That really is a mighty long time. I sure hope you can make it that long without seeing us or your phone!”
Child Thinks – “Three weeks is really long! I don’t think I can make it that long. Better not go.”
Parent Says – “Three Weeks sounds great. That is just a little longer than winter vacation and remember how short that seemed?”
Child Thinks – “Three Week really isn’t that long. Just a little longer than winter vacation. I can do that”.
Thank you for reading! We hope you came away with a few good ways to express your feelings about camp.
Reference: Dr. Chris Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski’s Book – The Summer Camp Handbook (2014)