This life is all about overcoming fears, and for those where it isn’t, they’ll probably live and die in the towns they grew up in and never really take any chances in their boring, mundane lives. Learning how to try is also learning how to fail, because failure is inevitable when you’re open to the idea of learning how to do new things. None of us can be a complete natural at everything that we do, so we have to learn through dealing with the uncertainty that comes along with the unknown, as we discover what we’re capable of in the process of finding ourselves. This process begins early in life, when we learn how to crawl, then begin to take our first steps in the process of learning how to walk. It’s all part of the literal and figurative progression that we’re all familiar with to a certain degree.
And as a parent, you’re in the process of learning how to overcome your fears of parenting after you’ve already overcome so many others in preparation for this and other challenging responsibilities in your life. We can instill some of our insecurities into our kids if we live and act vicariously through them, so it’s important that we deal with our own serious issues first before we even have kids. But, some unexpected things happen in our lives and sometimes one of those unexpected things that happens is a kid. Then we’ve got to learn how to adapt to the sudden and changing circumstances from then on out. The same kind of adjustments need to be made in the process of a child learning how to adapt to their environment in a summer camp scenario.
You should know more about your child than anyone, and throwing them head-first into a day or summer camp may or may not be the best idea. Some kids are very sensitive to the idea of being away from their parents and small, progressive steps need to be taken to get them to the point where they could do something like that. You probably already know after leaving them with a baby sitter at least a few times or sending them off to a slumber party one evening if they happen to be especially sensitive to being away from you for any given amount of time. Even getting them involved with sports or an after school science or learning activity of some kind, depending on their interests, could be the opportunity that they and you need to learn about their potential propensity for feeling uncomfortable in unfamiliar territory.
Well, learning how to parent properly is a process like a kid growing up and learning who they are through interactions with their peers is a process as well. Sending them to an overnight camp might not be the best idea in the world based on their experiences, or lack of experience with being away from home for extended amounts of time. It could be a much better idea to get them involved with a day camp nearby instead, so they don’t have to feel like they’re located on a remote island in the middle of the ocean somewhere for a week or more.
There are all kinds of options available to allow them to begin to get their feet wet until they’re ready to start swimming in the deep end. The kid pool or the shallow end is where you and them may feel the most comfortable until when and if they’re ready to venture out into the deeper, more uncertain waters, and it’s up to you and them to decide when they’re ready. Just like them learning how to crawl before walking; you don’t want to put the horse in front of the buggy and try to get them to stand tall on their own two feet until they’ve gotten familiar with the ground they’ll be walking on. They grow intimately familiar with that ground by crawling around on it and when they begin to walk, they’re familiar with the surface that they stumble upon and fall down onto in the process of learning.
Some parents take the, throw-them-to-the-wolves or trial-by-fire kind of approach when introducing their kids to things. Sometimes it works just fine but other times, it’s the worst approach that they could take and could be potentially traumatic. You don’t want to contribute to or be the source of any fear that your child may feel in their lives, but like a lot of things, a delicate and caring approach is probably preferable, for you and your child.