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Time For Her First Sleepaway Camp: 4 Steps To Help Relieve Anxiety

by Amanda Phillips

Summer is here. Time to find ways to keep your kids occupied while they're out of school. If you're going to be sending your daughter to her first sleepaway summer camp, she may be feeling anxious about her time away from home. Don't worry too much. It's normal for kids to be anxious about sleeping away from home for the first time. Here are four steps you can take that will alleviate the anxiety and get your daughter ready for camp.

Let Her Pick Her Own Supplies

Your daughter is going to need lots of new gear for her sleepaway camp. Schedule a day when the two of you can go shopping for everything she'll need for a successful summer camp. Allow her to have ownership over the choices. Allowing her to choose the equipment and clothing she'll take with her will help her realize that she has some say and control over the situation.

Turn the Focus Away from the Anxiety

When discussing camp with your daughter, avoid comments that focus on her anxiety. Focusing on the issues that cause her anxiety will increase the stress she's already experiencing. For instance, instead of asking if she's worried about sleeping away from home for the first time, ask how she's feeling about meeting new friends. By turning the attention to positive attributes of camp, you can take the focus away from the anxiety.

Don't Transfer Your Own Anxiety

You may be just as anxious about summer camp as your daughter is. However, it's important that you don't transfer your anxiety onto her. Letting her know how much you're going to miss her can increase the level of anxiety she's experiencing, especially if she's worried about how her time at camp will affect you. Instead, focus on how happy you are about her decision to go to camp.

Make the Goodbyes Quick

When it comes time to put your daughter on the bus and say your goodbyes, make it quick. Don't linger at the bus stop waiting for her to leave. This can increase the anxiety level as she anticipates the separation. Make the separation easier by saying your goodbyes, watching her get on the bus, and then leaving.

If this will be your daughters first experience with a sleepaway summer camp, you want to do everything you can to reduce her anxiety. The tips provided here will help alleviate her anxiety so she can enjoy her summer. 

For more information about sleepaway camps, see Camp Marimeta For Girls or other girls camps near you.