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Avoiding Homesickness at Summer Camp

What Parents Should NOT Do

Featured in our May issue is a guide on getting your children ready for summer camp. Here are some guidelines to follow to avoid your child becoming homesick.

All parents want their children to have happy, positive experiences at camp. Even so, many parents worry if their children aren't homesick. "Every summer we hear from parents who are the ones having the problem with separation anxiety and who can't understand when their children don't get homesick," says Prout.

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Brown cautions parents to tread carefully when talking about homesickness and urges them to examine their own feelings, too. "Some parents want a camper to be homesick to prove the value of their love and the love at home," she says.

Here are some things parents should not do when preparing a child to avoid homesickness:

1. Do not send your child to overnight camp if you are certain he will be homesick.

2. Do not remind your child about things she will be missing at home.

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3. Do not tell your child that you will pick him up if he isn't having a good time.

4. Do not tell your child that you will be lonely without her; a simple "I love you, and I'll miss you while you're gone" is sufficient. If you overdo it, she'll worry about leaving you alone.