Parent Anxiety: How to deal with worry when your kid’s at camp.
Think back to your childhood summer memories, they most likely include long days of adventures with your friends and for many several weeks off at a summer camp, growing and exploring. It’s likely, even if you weren’t away at camp, that your mother only had a vague idea of where you were, and in a pre-cell phone era, most of your camp communication home was in the form of letters delivered by snail mail.
In our modern world, the idea for a parent of not being able to immediately reach your child can create anxiety. Most of our staff at Summerland Camps has been working at summer camps or residential programs for years and understands that sometimes the parents have more stress over their child being away than the children do.
Adding to this is the fact that the whole point of your child attending Summerland Camp is to unplug – you likely got them their first cell phone so you could check in with them throughout the day. While its understanding how difficult it can be to not be 100% connected to your child it’s also important to understand the benefits.
As Athletes Say, “No Pain No Gain”
Children grow and mature by having life experiences and taking risks. There is no better place for this to happen then in a controlled environment like a camp setting. At camp kids get to get out of their comfort zones and break routines, they often will try new activities or find confidence in ways that may surprise you.
Personal growth comes from relationships with others. Without some detachment and exposure to new activities and relationships, how can we expect personal growth to occur? While this may cause some initial discomfort, the rewards far outweigh the costs. Maybe your child was never the outdoors type, and now they love hiking, or they struggle to make friends and are now leading group activity night.
We often hear from parents how surprised they are by a new confidence and how their child’s self-esteem has improved after just several weeks at camp. Parenting is incredibly difficult, we all want the very best for our children, and sometimes it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. Letting our children go off and become responsible young adults isn’t easy, but it is so rewarding and in the end gives them the best chance at long-term happiness, which is every parent’s main goal.