When it comes to raising your kids, you want the best advice out there, which is why we turned to the experts. Will this summer be your little one's first camp experience? His first time away from home and his family? Prepare for separation anxiety at camp by reading the advice we've compiled from some of Rockland County's experienced camp and summer program directors.
"How should parents deal with young children's separation anxiety?"
" Parents can review the schedule with their kids the week before and explain that camp is very much like school in that they don't know their teachers, who is in their class, and that everyone is starting at the same point."
-Todd Rothman, Director of in Suffern Deerkill Day Camp
"The important thing is to make sure when selecting a camp, that the camp places priority on this topic. Also, make sure to include your children in the camp selection process, go to the tours, and meet the directors. Knowing that kids might react with anxiety, parents should prepare kids and themselves for when and if that happens."
-Josh Male, Director of in Stony Point Gate Hill Camp
"Parents should encourage their children before camp starts by talking to them about all the fun they will have. Also, if the camper has already seen the pool, the bunk, and where they will eat lunch, then there are no unrealistic expectations on the first day."
Greg Pinkham, Director, in New City Champion Day Camp
"The biggest issue I see is that the parents are more hesitant than the campers, so I recommend letting campers meet other campers before they go. When the parents get anxious, the kids see that."
-Monica Rosenbaum, Youth and Family Director, in West Nyack JCC Day Camps
"We advise parents to come visit with their children before camp starts to make them feel comfortable, and we also have an open house day for parents to meet the staff. The most important thing is to visit frequently and make sure the staff knows how to treat the child, whether it means distracting or coercing the child when parents leave."
-Gail Doroff, Director, in Suffern Robin Hill Day Camps
Also see advice on separation anxiety from camp directors in:
Fairfield County, CT
Nassau County, Long Island
Suffolk County, Long Island