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Eliminate Summer Camp Anxiety with These Tips

Eliminate Summer Camp Anxiety with These Tips

One of the most exciting things about summer is the variety of summer camps available to kids. At least in our local area of Tampa, Fla. there are camps for everything from how to be a zookeeper to how to start acting in plays on a Broadway style stage. For some children though, summer camps bring up anxiety. To help alleviate this stress, below you’ll find some tips for eliminating summer camp anxiety:

 

  1. Talk to your child about what and how they are feeling. One of the biggest causes of anxiety is fear of the unknown. By talking about their feelings, you can determine what they want to know, and pinpoint exactly what is making them anxious.

 

Use caution in how you ask them about their feelings though. In other words, don’t direct the conversation with anxiety-inducing questions. For example, instead of saying, “Aren’t you nervous about being away overnight?” you could say “How do you feel about your upcoming overnight?” This allows the child to assess how they are actually feeling, rather than answering and therefore feeling the way they think you want them to.

 

  1. Help them get excited by including them in the preparations. Does the camp require specific supplies or attire? Bring your children along to help you purchase these items to get them jazzed up about the experience.

 

  1. It may help to let them pick the camp. If there are several options for summer camp, include them in the discussions of which one they will be going to. It’s also a good idea to suggest camps that are aligned with their interests. Be honest about what you think they can expect, and what the atmosphere of the place will be like.

 

If cost is an issue, don’t bring up camps that you can’t afford ahead of time. There’s no sense in getting your children excited about something only to have to tell them that you can’t actually give it to them. This could backfire, feel like a tease, and possibly lead to anxiety about money.

 

  1. Find out the camps rules for corresponding with you ahead of time. If your child will be able to call you everyday reassure them that you are just a phone call away. However, if they can only correspond by a letter, encourage them to write you as often as they can. Even if they never send you anything, just knowing they can may make them feel more at ease.

 

  1. Be cognizant of your own feelings, but keep them to yourself. If the reality is that you’re the one that is anxious, try to avoid making a big deal about that in front of your children. When our kids sense that we’re nervous, it can in turn make them nervous. Yes, sending them away for the first time can be nerve-wracking, but it’s important to remain as optimistic and positive about the experience as you can so that they can have as much fun as possible.

 

This list is far from an exhaustive one, but I hope it helps inspire you in helping your children eliminate any anxiety they may have about attending a summer camp. Summer camp is intended to be an educational, growing experience, and we hope that is exactly what it will be for your children.

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