The other day, I was at the ice skating rink dropping off my daughter for her figure skating lesson and I saw a young girl – about eight years old – come off the ice in tears. the ice in tears. “I can’t do it!” she cried to her mother, who was watching closely from the sidelines, holding an infant. “I’ve tried and tried, and I keep falling!”
It makes my head spin to think about the kind of schedule some kids these days keep. School, after-school care, homework, dinner, sports or dance once a week, swim lessons or another activity twice a week, games, birthday parties and campouts on weekends. The range of extracurricular activities available to children today is mind-blowing, but of course we want our kids to have everything. But Jill Connors, mom of five, says, “I know friends whose kids are in school that are so scheduled that anytime they are home they are ‘bored.’”
Being away from home and loved ones causes feelings of homesickness in almost everyone. As many as 95 per cent of kids experience mild sadness, and some feel intense, long-lasting distress. Younger kids and those who have never spent time away from home have the most trouble at camp. You may be worried that your attempts to comfort your homesick child will only make the problem worse.
When I was growing up, the extent of my athletic experience was whatever they made me do twice a week when I put on my goofy blue gym uniform. I hated it! How times have changed! All three of my children have been involved in soccer, baseball, swimming and Taekwondo. And all three say that gym class is one of their favorite classes. I realize that sometimes it's not easy to get kids to commit to sports activities. But the long-term benefits for your child make it worth the battle.
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