When your child is ready to head to an overnight camp for the first time, it's easy to view this milestone as an indicator that your child is growing up. This concept might be in your mind when it's time to say goodbye to the child, and you may feel somewhat emotional. It's important to be mindful of how you say goodbye to your child. He or she might be feeling a bit nervous on the eve of this departure, and you want to possess the presence that will help your son or daughter to feel confident as he or she heads off to camp. Here are some tips on saying goodbye.
Calm Yourself First
Crying when you bid farewell to your child can make the moment difficult for you both. Regardless of your child's age, seeing you cry can create feelings of uncertainty, and this isn't how you want your child to feel before he or she heads off to overnight camp. As the departure time approaches, make an effort to calm yourself. This could mean having a quiet sob in the bathroom or with your spouse, or waiting until after your child has left to cry a little. Having a calm and happy demeanor will be in your child's best interest.
Emphasize Your Pride
Instead of telling your child that this is a big moment for him or her — something that can perhaps unnecessarily add some trepidation to the experience — talk about how proud you are of the child. Children respond well to compliments of this nature, and knowing that you're proud may compel your child to head off to camp with his or her head held high. Be specific about why you're proud. For example, you could emphasize, "I know that you don't know many other kids who will be at the camp, so I'm really proud of you for attending."
Remind Him/Her To Have Fun
Fun is the name of the game at summer camp, and reminding your son or daughter about the importance of having fun will help to send him or her off on a happy note. It will also help to shake any last-minute worries that your child has and can be beneficial for giving you something happy to think about, too. You can mention something that is on the camp agenda to get your child excited — for example, "This time tomorrow, you'll be ziplining through the treetops."