Remedies for summer camp homesickness


If your child is going away to camp this summer, there is a chance they could get homesick. After you've helped them pack their bags, supply them some tools they can try when they start missing their own bed, too.

Joseph Austerman, DO, a child psychiatrist at Cleveland Clinic Children's, has tips to help your child's first experience away at camp to be a fun one.

1. Go on a field trip

Allowing your child to become familiar with their surroundings and where they will be sleeping can make a world of difference in easing anxiety. While you're there, you can find an adult they can turn to if they begin to feel anxious.

2. Establish a lifeline

"Talk to the camp and establish a lifeline," said Austerman. "Knowing that they can talk to their parent does a tremendous amount in soothing the child's nerves."

3. Practice

It's also a good idea to practice, especially if this is a child's first time going to an overnight camp. Have your child try some sleepovers at a friend's or relative's house to get them used to sleeping in a strange place for one or more nights.

4. Teach calming techniques

Austerman encourages parents to both use and teach deep-breathing techniques, guided imagery and meditation to help give kids a blueprint on how to calm down.

"Children who learn to work through anxiety like homesickness can apply the techniques in other situations that may make them upset," said Austerman.