When one sibling leaves for sleepaway camp, the reaction of your other kids may surprise you. What parents don’t realize is even when siblings fight, when one’s missing from the everyday grind, it can really rock the boat.
Here are 3 ways to handle the sibling sleepaway sorrows in your house.1) Recognize and validate feelings
It’s so easy as a parent to dismiss a child’s emotions no matter what the subject matter is. Instead of saying, “You’ll be fine. You fight when you’re together anyway,” say something like, “It’s okay to be sad that your brother isn’t here and if you want to cry, you can absolutely cry but let’s try to be happy for his new adventures too.“
What this does is bring acknowledgement to the feelings while at the same time, showing there is a positive way of thinking as an alternative. If the sadness continues, since you already validated the feelings, you can now focus on what exciting adventures await at home. For example, “Think about the extra time you and I will have together this week and all the fun things we can do.”
2) Express your feelings with art
What better way for a child to express himself than with a homemade card for a sibling. Plus, all kids love to get letters from home when they attend sleepaway camp. Get out the markers, stickers, or any favorite art supplies around the house, and help the kids create a beautiful work of art to send off.
Imagine your child’s surprise when they learn their younger sibling misses their presence. It can be a very special bonding moment, even though they’re far apart. It’s also a great activity that doesn’t center around electronics.
3) Be a role model
Since you’re a role model as a parent, it’s important to think before you speak. Just as your child’s feelings need to be recognized, so do yours. However, kids will always take a queue from you in terms of behavior. If you’re sad all the time, preventing you from doing fun activities with the other kids, they will take notice and follow suit.
Be positive and make amazing memories so the siblings at home can enjoy their summer instead of sulking with you. Remember that positivity breeds positivity so keep busy, recognize the moments you all miss your family member, and create new memories to tell him about when he arrives home from camp.
No one wants to see their little ones sad but it does make you feel good that they secretly do like one another and miss each other. You know within minutes of reuniting, someone is hitting the other, mean names are flying around, and before you know it, tears are involved. Good feeling gone!
Tell us YOUR sleepaway sibling sorrows and comment ⬇️.