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 Nassau County's experienced camp and summer program directors.
"How should parents deal with young children's separation anxiety?"
"Encourage your children to talk about these feelings rather than acting on what you think their feelings may be. Communicate confidence in your children's ability to handle being away from home."
-Scott Bochner, Director, Maximum Teen Travel Camp, Oceanside
"Explain to your children that they are going to a fun and safe environment, where there will be coaches and mentors with them every step of the way and to make sure they'll have fun. Also, remind children that they can reach mom or dad if they need to, but they can also enjoy the time away from home."
-Al Sontag, President, Unlimited Sports Action Summer Programs, Port Washington
"Listen to your children before camp begins, and throughout the camp season-they will have concerns. Validate them and address them positively and confidently. As your child shows increased independence, praise him or her. Part of building self-esteem is to face a challenge; succeeding is a bonus."
-Richie Sherman, Associate Director, North Shore Day Camp, Glen Cove
"Our counselors make personal phone calls to every new camper to introduce themselves and get them enthused about camp. At orientation, children have an opportunity to meet their counselors, play games, and participate in ice breakers to help them feel more comfortable."
-Amy R. Manheim, Marketing Director, Mid-Island Y Jewish Community Center, Plainview
"We find that it's just the unfamiliar surroundings that intimidate children, so if we make them at home and part of the team, in most instances they become comfortable and want to stay."
-Donna Scott, Director of Marketing, LuHi Summer Programs, Brookville
Also see advice on separation anxiety from camp directors in:
Fairfield County, CT
Suffolk County, Long Island