How to Prepare Your Child for Summer Camp: 7 Tips
A summer camp serves as an avenue for school kids to hone not just their knowledge but also their social skills. It also ensures that your child doesn’t experience a summer slide, which means losing momentum for learning that may affect his or her performance in school in the coming academic year.
But what if your child isn’t keen on joining such an event?
The best summer camp activities won’t be as enjoyable as they could be if the camper is reluctant. Because of this, it is imperative that parents and guardians learn the best tips on how to motivate a child into partaking in such activities. Here are seven ways to do just that:
1. Have Your Child Participate in the Decision-Making Process
When offered a chance to decide on their own future, children become more invested in whatever is chosen during the selection process. This means that, if you allow your child to join you in deciding which camp to join, he or she would be more excited to participate and, in turn, be able to enjoy the experience.
Ask him or her what kind of camp he or she would like to join. Is it a sleep-away camp or day camp? Will there be an emphasis on sports? Or does he or she prefer to learn more about art or gain computer skills?
Once you’ve asked him or her these questions, make sure you talk it out with the rest of the family. If you cannot send him or her to the kind of summer camp he or she wishes to attend, talk to him or her so that the reasons are clear.
2. Boost Their Confidence
If it’s the first time that your child is going to be outside the nest, chances are that he or she would feel a bit intimidated by the idea. Being away from home can be daunting, so you have to make sure that you give your child a confidence boost.
Let him or her know that there’s a big chance that he or she will have a great time during the camp. Even better, make sure that he or she is fully aware of his or her capabilities in facing new adventures during the camp.
3. Talk About Your Own Experiences
While you may not have been able to join a robotics summer camp back when you were still a student, you should be able to relate some similarly exciting experiences you had in your own camp. Relay these stories to your child – talk about the people you met, the cool things you did, and everything else that the experience was able to teach you.
If you weren’t able to join one at all, talk about the first time that you spent several days away from your parents, instead. Make sure to focus on the benefits you gained from this experience.
Although he or she may not say it, being away from mom and dad is probably the main reason why your child is reluctant to join a camp.
4. Set Realistic Expectations
After giving him or her an idea of how awesome summer camps can be, make sure you give him or her realistic expectations. This means that you should explain to him or her that camp is much like real life – it can be great at times, but there will also be some not-so-great days.
Even so, remember not to dampen the mood and teach your youngster that it’s what he or she does that matters. Help him or her learn to appreciate the silver lining, even in unfortunate events. Tell him or her that learning from setbacks and not dwelling on mistakes is the best way to enjoy the camp.
5. Give Your Child a Chance to Voice Out Concerns
Good parenting requires two-way communication, which means you should also listen to your child’s concerns. Listen attentively to what your child is saying but keep things positive. Don’t let him or her worry about negative “what ifs” and always drive the conversation to the more promising potential of the experience.
6. Visit the Camp Ahead
Uncertainty is what fuels a child’s fear of attending activities like summer camps. To help alleviate this hesitation, you can drive off to the campsite with him or her prior to the start of the gathering.
Seeing the place will help him or her become more familiar with it, thus, reducing your child’s reluctance to join. You can also look at photos and videos of past activities together to help him or her see that joining such a gathering is not so bad. Talking to your child about the venue – where they will sleep, what they will eat, and how the activities will go – is also a good idea.
7. Keep Farewells Short
While your child may no longer be a toddler, long and emotional goodbyes will still add to his or her anxiety of leaving the nest. After assisting your child in getting settled, give him or her a quick hug and a kiss before driving away. You can also make a promise that you’ll be keeping in touch regularly.
A Ready Camper is a Happy Camper
Preparation is key in ensuring that your child enjoys and makes the most out of his or her time in summer camp.
Consider following the above tips and keep open communication with your child to make sure that his or her time at the campsite will be worthwhile.
AUTHOR BIO :- Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.