Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away? If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child. This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry or anxiety about leaving home for the first time … especially if it is sleep away camp. Oftentimes, we project our own concern onto our children and this causes more tension and worry. Your child may sense your anxiety and start worrying as well. Children observe and mimic parents’ worries, which is why anxiety is contagious.
Thinking about camp as a positive opportunity may help you overcome your concerns. Camp is a perfect place for our children to optimize their psychosocial development. Summer camps are places where children get the experiences they need to boost their self esteem and learn coping strategies. Their camp activities may include building a fire, going on hikes, swimming, sports, fishing, boating and socializing. The camp experience provides the opportunity for your child to establish new relationships with peers and adults. It helps them build self esteem because they are relying on themselves and this enhances confidence and competency that will carry them through life. Camp establishes a sense of belonging with their new friendships and team activities and it allows even the most timid of children to develop a stronger sense of self in becoming self reliant and responsible people.
Camp is a perfect place for your child to grow emotionally and intellectually. We all want what is best for our children. If you are not sending your child to camp because of your own fears, work on yourself so that you can offer a learning experience to your child. Know that although it is uncomfortable to face something new, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
At the Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ we have a team of licensed professionals available for counseling day, evening and weekend hours. Visit us at www.hellenictherapy.com or on Facebook or call 908-322-0112.