The day of departure has come and you watched your kid get on the bus leaving for overnight summer camp. It’s a moment filled with emotions for both parents and kids. The kids are excited and thrilled to start a new adventure, and you’re happy for them but also sick with worry and anxiety.
It’s perfectly normal to miss your child, especially if you’ve never been apart for more than a day. But empty nest syndrome can easily creep in if you focus all of your attention on feeling sad and worried.
In the weeks while your kid is away, you can use this time to reconnect with your partner, spend more time with your other kids and friends, and set aside quality ‘me’ time.
Read on to learn how to cope with feeling like an empty nester while your child is at an overnight summer camp.
1. Stay Busy
Overnight camps are an exciting experience for children but can be dreadful for parents who aren’t used to being away from them. If your mind starts freaking out (and it will), it’s important to stay busy and fill your days with errands and tasks.
For instance, now you’ll finally have the time to clean the entire house properly, so dedicated to that for a day or two. You can go grocery shopping in peace, do some gardening, or do some productive work without distractions.
Go out with your friends or sign up for a hobby while your kid is away. You can also use this time to bond with your other children and do something together.
2. Stay In Touch
For many parents, sending their kid to an overnight camp is the first time they’ll be away from each other. As a parent, you’ll want to know what they’re doing every second of the day, but try not to contact them too often.
Writing letters is a great way to stay in touch without overwhelming the child and yourself. Camps are a lot of fun for kids, and if there’s anything wrong, the counselors will be sure to let you know.
Don’t ask them too many questions, and don’t tell them exciting stories of what’s been happening while they’re away. If they start feeling like they’re missing out on fun stuff at home, they’ll want to come back, and that’s not what anyone wants.
3. Look On The Bright Side
Sleepaway camp has tons of benefits for kids aside from having fun for a few weeks. Kids learn to develop their interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, and organizational skills. They also learn to be more responsible, independent, and resourceful.
Everything they do at camp, even the fun activities, will teach them important lessons much needed for the process of growing up and dealing with life. Summer camps are places where many strong friendships are born that last for a lifetime.
On the other hand, you will also take a breather from parenting full-time and devote some time on yourself or your marriage.
4. Reconnect With Yourself
Parenting is the hardest, yet most rewarding job in the world and every parent needs some time for themselves. While your child is away at camp, you can plan some self-care time without feeling guilty.
Schedule time to read, have a spa day, go shopping with friends, have a date night with your partner, or just stay at home and do things that relax you. You’ll recharge your batteries so you can be a better, calmer parent in the future.
5. Spend Quality Time With Your Partner/Other Children
Having extra time to yourself when you’re a parent can feel like a luxury, so use it to reconnect with your partner or other kids. Plan your days to include date nights and activities so no one feels left out.
Aim for at least one date night per week, and if time and money allow it, go out with your partner more often. It’s important to rekindle that spark and feel more connected to each other, as family life and obligations can take a toll on your marriage.
Another option is to do something fun with your other child or children. For example, plan out one-on-one days with each child and go somewhere special just the two of you.
6. Find Support
Being away from your kid is emotionally hard for every parent and it’s normal to miss your baby every day. If you’re unable to cope during their absence, find support in your mom group or connect with other moms with kids away at camp.
You can share how you feel and get useful advice on how others are coping. Empty nest syndrome is real, but having someone to rely on and talk to can do wonders for overcoming it fast.
It’s also a good idea to talk to the counselors to see how your kid is doing and have some peace of mind. If you find you’re unable to cope, it may be a good idea to seek professional help. Each parent handles empty nest syndrome differently, but if you don’t notice any improvement, you should ask for a different kind of support.
7. Know That Time Passes Quickly
If you focus all of your attention to your child’s absence, your mind will start wallowing in sadness and you’ll count the days your baby comes home. This is not a healthy mindset and can have you spinning in circles, unable to think of anything else.
Find solace in the fact that time passes quickly, and your kid is having the time of their life, not even looking at the clock. You know they’re ok, so shift your attention to something else and don’t look at the calendar.
Now You Know How To Cope While Your Kid Is At Overnight Summer Camp
Summer camps are one of the best gifts you can give your child while they’re young and care-free. Spending time away from each other is hard for both sides, but you can all learn from the experience and come out stronger for it.
Kids will learn valuable life skills while they’re there, and you can finally spend more time with your partner or indulge in some self-care.
Ready to send your kid to an overnight summer camp? Click here to get all the information you need about programs, prices, and planning completely free of charge and give your child the adventure of a lifetime.