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Help For the Homesick Kid at Summer Camp

Parenting tips to help kids feel more confident away from home sweet home – whether it be a camp, sleepover, or playdate – based on the latest research.

Mooommm… I want to come home! NOW!

But can’t you pleassse pick me up? I hate it here!

I don’t care how much you paid. Come get me now!

Ah the joys of camp … or that weekend with grandma. Right? And we wanted our kids to come back sooo excited from their first time away from home.

I’ll never forget sending my son to camp the first time. I’d combed the brochures to find just the perfect camp (or so I thought). Purchased the world’s best (or so said the store manager) sleeping bag and so-called “camp paraphernalia.” Said the right goodbyes!  Thought I did all the right things. He lasted forty-eight hours, before I finally drove to pick him up.

We tried again (at his suggestion) the following year, but this time I didn’t focus on the sleeping bag. I put my energy instead on preparing him for that first extended time away so he would feel more secure. And … success! He loved camp, made new friends, and couldn’t wait to go back again and again and again.

If only I’d read the research on homesickness the first time I sent him, but the studies on how parents can prevent homesickness hadn’t been published.

Well, finally child development researchers have discovered what we parents can do to help our kids feel more confident away from home sweet home. And just in time.

Summer is usually the time when we send our kids to stay at grandmas, with their friends, or off to camp. So if you’re getting ready to send your child away from for just the night or for a more extended time, here are some research-based pointers to help your child–and you–have a fun time and great memories.

Read More: Michele Borba,

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