As summer camp season nears, you may wonder if your child is ready to handle so much time away from home. Relax, experts say. Homesickness is as natural at camp as making new friends or getting the midnight giggles.
"Younger kids tend to get more severely homesick than older kids, because they have less previous experience away from home and less sophisticated coping mechanisms," says psychologist Christopher Thurber, PhD, co-author of The Summer Camp Handbook. "But 95 percent of all children who spend time away from home at a resident camp report being homesick on at least one day."
Loneliness and uneasiness are especially likely among first-time campers. Girls are more likely to experience homesickness even with previous camp experience.
Dr. Thurber and counselors say you can help ease those feelings:
Healthy separation is part of growing up. "At camp, kids learn to appreciate the outdoors, develop companionship and pick up skills that enhance self-reliance, cooperation and interdependence," says psychologist and camp adviser Bruce Muchnick, EdD.
Online tools to help manage your daily life.
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