Homesick And Happy: How Time Away From Parents Can Help A Child Grow

Posted on October 23, 2012 by CCA Communications Committee

In an age when it’s the rare child who walks to school on his own, the thought of sending “little ones” off to sleep-away camp can be overwhelming—for the child and the parents.  But parents’ first instinct—to shelter their offspring above all else—is actually depriving kids of the major developmental milestones that occur through letting them go—and watching them come back transformed.

In Homesick and Happy, renowned child psychologist, Michael Thompson, PhD, shares a strong argument for, and a vital guide to this brief loosening of ties.  A great champion of summer camp, he explains how camp ushers  children into a thrilling world offering an environment that most homes cannot: an electronics-free zone, a multigenerational community, meaningful daily rituals like group meals and cabin clean-up, and a place where time simply slows down.  In the buggy woods, icy swims, campfire sing-alongs, and daring adventures children have emotionally significant and character-building experiences; they often grow in ways that surprise even themselves; they make lifelong memories and cherished friends. Thompson shows how children who are away from their parents can be both homesick and happy, scared and successful, anxious and exuberant.  When kids go to camp—for a week, a month, or the whole summer—they can experience some of the greatest maturation of their lives, and return more independent, strong, and healthy.

Homesick and Happy is available through .