Your kids are at a sports camp because you need a place for them to go while you work. Or maybe you know your kids are better off in an organized setting for their sanity and yours. Or it might be because they bugged you all spring to send them with their friends.
Regardless of the reason, all parents anxiously await to hear about how much fun the first day was -- if for no other reason than to justify the money spent.
But what happens when the first words from your child's mouth are: "I hate camp and I'm not going back."
You're probably left speechless. And a little upset if your checkbook is in sight.
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For some kids, they might be upset because they are away from home in a strange setting.
It could also be due to an inferiority complex. The player who was the star on the team during the season might be one of the lesser-skilled campers.
There also might be cliques at camp, ones that don't include your child. Nobody likes to feel left out, and your child might just be frustrated not feeling part of the large camp team.
And then, of course, just like at school, there can be bullies.
Your child might eagerly tell you why camp stinks. Or maybe not. But regardless, it's important for you to figure out what went wrong on Day 1.
Talk to your child. Hopefully he or she will tell you exactly what he or she doesn't like about camp. And hopefully you can resolve it. If not, maybe talk to other parents to see if their child complained.
You might have to watch from afar on the second day to see if you can figure out what is bothering your child, or if what was bothering him or her is resolved.
Typically, as we all know but have a tough time convincing our children, just like after that first day of school that might be rough, camp does usually get better as the week goes on.
But if not, you might have to intervene. This is especially true if it's a camper or a counselor making your child miserable.
You probably paid good money to send your child to camp. You deserve for them to have a good experience. And they deserve it, too.