On the one hand, your child needs to become independent, and this can be done only by breaking away from parents. On the other hand, letting him go is so scary - what if he feels bad?
The first and only time I went to a sport summer camp when I was 12 years old. Then I was completely unprepared for it, unlike my peers, each summer spending two or three shifts in children's camps or in villages with their grandmothers. Great efforts have cost me attempts to safely join the "camp" life, go for swimming classes in Brooklyn, including toddler swim classes, and find new friends. After almost 10 years, already a student-psychologist, I again found myself in the same camp, but this time in the role of a counselor. Thanks to these two trips to the summer camp, I managed to look at the life of children who are having a rest there, and the eyes of an adult.
Many children worry, parting with their parents. The smaller the child, the harder it is for him to part. If a child does not have any experience of a separate holiday from parents, a trip to a summer camp can be a serious test for him.
Adults, who are too worried about their child, run a risk of infecting their own anxiety and himself. Little children tend to imitate their parents and take over their worries. And with such emotional baggage a child is unlikely to feel comfortable in any place, even if it is such a simple activity like swimming classes in Brooklyn, or toddler swim classes.
So-called overcrowding parents are especially inclined to dramatize parting with their child. If they decide to give the child to the camp, try to keep the situation under control - they often visit their child or call him, try to prevent the child’s going for swimming classes in Brooklyn as “it may be dangerous”. Sooner or later, such super-control and guardianship make life of the child in camp unbearable. He becomes ashamed before his peers and uncomfortable with counselors for the obsession of his mother and father.
It's not easy to part. But it is especially difficult for children who are sent to a camp, sanatorium or to a village to visit their grandmother against their will - the child feels betrayed and unnecessary. It also happens that a child's trip to a camp or village for the entire duration of a vacation is accepted by him as a kind of punishment. even if parents just take him for swimming classes in Brooklyn or toddler swim classes. This happens if parents try to influence the child's behavior throughout the year: they frighten him by sending him to the camp, where he will be taught how to behave and how to be independent. Even if adults say it in their hearts, they sow the fears of a trip to the camp in the child's soul.
Is it time to camp or not?
For each child readiness to break away from the family and go to the camp comes in due time. Often adults believe that their baby is already ripe for independent rest, but the child is not psychologically ready for it yet. And sometimes it happens that the child asks permission from parents to go to the summer camp or swimming classes in Brooklyn, and mom and dad think that he is still small and will not be able to take care of himself without them. In each situation, parents have to make a choice. Sometimes not in favor of the child.
The child can be ready for a short leaving his parents when he is about 5-6 years-old. Optimal age, when it can be sent to a summer camp, psychologists consider to be 8-9 years, although for many it's too early. Therefore, before planning summer, I advise you to carefully look at your child and evaluate his possibilities.
The fact that the child is really ready for his first trip to a children's camp and do some activities like swimming classes in Brooklyn or toddler swim classes, is evidenced, first, by his desire to go there. If the child categorically refuses from having rest for a couple of weeks outside the city, it makes sense to think about the reasons for his refusal. Probably, he is not ready to leave his parents or is experiencing some fears related to separation, and that’s why he stays in a children's camp.
In addition, a child can be considered psychologically ready, if he is sociable, easily finds a common language with adults and peers, and has many friends and does not cling at every opportunity to his mother's skirt. It is also important that the child has skills of self-service and was independent in everyday matters, including also taking some classes like swimming classes in Brooklyn. Even if the little traveler is 6-7 years old, he should be able to at least independently change clothes, wash, use cutlery, make his bed, etc.
Take me away from the camp!
But no matter how psychologically ready for the trip to the camp your child may seem, it happens that in a few days he asks to go back home. He doesn’t like any activity; he doesn’t participate in swimming classes in Brooklyn and toddler swim classes, and so on. How can parents do this?
First you need to understand what is the reason for the sharp change in the mood of your child. Perhaps, the rhythm of life in a children's camp does not correspond to his individual characteristics, or he does not like life in a team. From our work experience we know: there are children who are embarrassed to go to the public toilet and shower, undress at all and sleep in the dormitory. Such boys and girls find it difficult to get used to living in conditions of publicity, not even speaking about having swimming classes in Brooklyn with lots of other children. The constant presence of other children and adults around, the inability to stay alone cause them negative emotions.
Because of that children often experience hard times when thinking:
· Will they be able to find new friends?
· Will they protect from their peers and take care of themselves?
· Will they find a common language with counselors?
· Will i have good results in my swimming classes in Brooklyn?
And parents are most concerned about:
· How is food provided in the summer camp?
· What is regime of the day and how is the health program organized?
· How well will the child be able to join the children's team?
· How will he cope with the separation test?
If such a child can not get used to the camp in any way, or to take swimming classes in Brooklyn, it is better to go to meet him and take him home. You may ask: will he then ever learn to live apart from his parents? We think that with the patient's tolerance and consistent approach, sooner or later a child will find the strength to do without parents and live in a children's team. The main thing for parents is not to throw him "in the pool with the head." A sharp and unexpected change of usual way of life, though for a short while, can become a strong stress for the child. Even if it is just a simple swimming classes in Brooklyn.
And sometimes a child can beg parents to take him home if something happened to him: he quarreled with friends, fought, lost in competitions, wasn’t successful in results of swimming classes in Brooklyn, etc. In this case, the decision of your child can be impulsive, emotional, a kind of attempt to escape from the solution of the problem. The task of parents, in any case, is to listen and hear everything the child wants to say to them, not to condemn him, not to be ashamed that he can not live on his own for a day. It is important to understand what happened, talk with adults and only then make a decision.
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Toby Nwazor is a serial entrepreneur, a success coach, a business development consultant, a strategist, a motivational speaker, and a freelance writer. He writes on other cool platforms like Entrepreneur magazine, Success.com, Good Men Project, and Business 2 Community. He is the founder of My [...]