1. Prep in advance by making them a weeklong care package.
Which can of course be altered depending on the number of days they’ll be away. They can open each envelope, containing a little note or a treat or what have you, on each designated day. Hopefully, by the end of their time they’ll be having so much fun with their new buddies that they won’t even remember to open it. Get the directions for this project here.
2. Pack a letter-writing satchel.
Complete with pens, stamps, postcards, and a letter of your own for them to respond to. It’ll help kick off the back-and-forth without stress. (Besides, what eight-year-old remembers to pack stamps? I am 23 and have to scramble to find one literally every time I need to pay a bill.)
7. Set goals before they leave.
Like that they’ll advance to the next level in swimming or try out for the camp play. Having set activities to do where they are will help prevent longing for where they’re not.
15. Don’t make a “pickup deal.”
According to The New York Times, you shouldn’t promise your kid that they can always just go home early. “Every kid is going to ask, ‘What if I feel homesick?’ With a pickup deal, the subtext is, ‘I have so little confidence in your ability to cope with this normal feeling.’” Because it’s totally normal! Let them know that this is something everyone goes through and that they’re not at all wrong or broken because of it. They’ll be home before you both know it, hopefully raring to go back.
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