Back to Reality: A Parent’s Guide to Transitioning Home After Summer Camp

In America, over 6 million children go to summer camp. Needless to say, it’s a rite of passage for many when it comes to transforming from a child to a teenager.

If you’re an experienced parent, then you may have already sent one or two off to camp. But no matter if you’re seasoned or a first-timer, breaking away from any routine can be tough. Before camp, your kids had a home routine, and during camp, they had a camp routine.

You’d thinking transitioning home from camp would be easy since that was their usual routine beforehand, but you’d be surprised at just how tough it is.

To help your family readjust, we’ve compiled some top times to make it easier for everyone.

Give Your Children Some Freedom

One of the main benefits your kids will get from attending summer camp is learning to become independent. They have to look after themselves while there; from showering and eating to tidying up and managing their leisure time, your children will have had some autonomy in their time away.

While the best thing is to get back into your normal routine as soon as possible, make some allowances for some freedom. For instance, if they want to wear the same camp shirt two days in a row, let them. Or if they want to eat rice instead of mashed potatoes for dinner, accommodate that desire.

Forcing your kids to do everything by the books 100% can result in them feeling constricted in the household, especially after they’ve had some autonomy at camp. This can be a learning experience for you too!

Don’t Overwhelm Them With Technology

In most camps, they’ll require attendees to leave their electronics behind or give them a limited time period to use them. During this time, your children may have learned to live fulfilling lives without electronics dominating them.

When they return home, of course, they’ll miss their smartphones and Play Stations. But don’t be too eager to return everything back to them.

Instead, wait for them to come to you. If you throw everything at them at once, it may overwhelm your kids.

If you let them slowly readjust to life with tech, you may be surprised at just how little dependency they have on them. Summer camp can have this positive effect on them! Maybe you can join in and unplug from tech too.

Have an Open Ear

Your children have just spent several days to a few weeks in a different environment, perhaps for the first time in their lives. They can be overwhelmed with both positive and negative experiences, and they might want to share them with you.

When your kids open up to you about their time at camp, make sure to have an open ear and pay full attention to them. Going to summer camp is probably a milestone for them, and they’ll want their parents to know all about it.

Whether they’re missing their friends, wistful for campfire talks, or just want to share a funny story, be a good listener for your children. No matter if it’s bad or good experiences, it’s a good opportunity for you to have an open discussion about how those situations made your children feel.

Use this opportunity to not only teach them some valuable life lessons, but to also share your own experiences at camp. When your kids can see that you’ve had similar times at camp, they’ll respect you more and listen to what you have to say as well.

Embrace Their Camp Learnings

There are only so many times you can handle hearing camp songs repeatedly, but this is a time where it’s worth gritting your teeth and embracing it. Summer camp should be a positive life-changing experience for your children, so if they’re happily singing songs they’ve learned from their time there, you should be pleased!

Initially, they’ll be singing these songs around the clock, but rest assured that this will lessen over time. In the meantime, perhaps you should join in! When your kids see that their parents are just as enthusiastic as they are about camp, then they’ll be ecstatic.

Spend Extra Time With Your Kids

You and your children have just spent some time away from one another, and it’s natural to miss each other. Even if you already spend a good part of your day with them as a daily routine, do something to let them know that you really missed their company.

For example, take an extra 30 minutes of the day to watch a favorite episode of a TV show together. Or you can drive out to get some ice cream together in the middle of the day.

You can even plan a fun day out as a family so all of you can reconnect.

Schedule a Play Date

For sure your kids will miss you while they’re away at camp. But once they’re home and have gotten back into their normal routines, they’ll start missing their camp friends.

Cheer your children up by calling their campmates and scheduling a play date in the later summer or early fall. This can surely be a pick-me-up before they start school again!

Make Transitioning Home From Summer Camp Easy

Your kids might get used to a routine at summer camp, but that doesn’t mean transitioning home has to be a challenge. So long as you listen to and accommodate your children’s needs and establish a home routine again, you’ll find yourselves back in the swing of things before you know it.

If you’re having a tough time deciding which type of summer camp to send your children to this year, then feel free to request some free information from us now!

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