Communicating With Kids At Camp

Communicating With Kids At Camp

Parents need to know what the policies are regarding communications. Some camps are more restrictive than others with regard to phone usage. Fortunately, many camps are taking advantage of emailing and that is certainly a means for parents, regardless of where they might be, to keep in touch with their child. What parents say in their communication is very important. They should be reassuring and comforting, but not suggestive of things that might create an anxiety in the child or increase their feelings of homesickness. They shouldn't mention things like the family pet is missing the child.

Parents should be positive and upbeat in their communication. Even if something negative has occurred at home, parents should be discreet about what to disclose and what not to disclose because they don't want to have a negative affect on the child. Parents should understand and expect that their child will have some feelings of homesickness and anxiety. It's natural and normal and it is good that a child is comfortable expressing it.

Don't over-react, or don't hop in the car and go get the child. Respect the camp's policy. Trust the camp that you've chosen to handle the situation because they certainly don't want the child to be unhappy and will work closely with the child and with the family. Generally, homesickness does dissipate over time and things work out and parents are encouraged to let that happen.

 I would advise any parent that receives any communication with their child that is expressing anything negative or any type of anxiety, and if the parents are concerned about it, they should certainly pick up the phone and call the camp director to be sure he/she is aware of this and knows what is happening.