|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Summer Camp Concerns

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: My son just turned nine-years-old and I would love to send him to a week-long summer camp with the YMCA, but I'm afraid that he won't want to stay or that something may happen to him. Do you think it would be safe to send him?

A: Many camps offer week-long overnight camps for nine-year-olds; some of the children do fine and others have problems. Think about your son and his reactions to things. Does he stay overnight with friends or with relatives? When he does, does he seem to be okay or does he get homesick?

If your son has not had much experience, or has had problems, with spending a night away from home you will probably not want to send him for a week. A better solution might be to let him work up to a week away from home -- perhaps he could stay two or three nights with grandma or with cousins.

Many camps offer half-week overnight stays for children who are not ready for the full week. You may want to check to see if this is possible at a camp in your area. Ask also at the YMCA camp about how they handle homesick children. Children whose parents are called to come pick them up right away can get the message that they can't handle being away from home, and this can set them up for separation problems down the road.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Surprising Sources of Caffeine in Kids' Foods
Even low doses of caffeine can have an effect on your child's health. Since the FDA doesn't require caffeine content on food labels, learn about hidden sources of caffeine in kids' diets.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!