As you may have heard, Frost Valley YMCA has made the decision to cancel summer camp programs for 2020. You can read more about the details of that decision in this letter from our CEO.
When talking to your child about this or any difficult news, first remember that you know your child best. Try to digest the news yourself before talking to your camper. Below are some tips that can help guide you:
- Acknowledge their feelings. Expect a range of emotions, including disappointment, anger, sadness, or even grief. Most us, including our children, have experienced a lot of cancelled plans, and adding yet another disappointment to the list may feel overwhelming. Acknowledge that it is frustrating to suffer yet another loss.
- Ask: What would help? When your camper is ready, think about what can be done to cope. You can register for virtual camp at frostvalley.org/virtual-camp or set up a video call with some camp friends. What are some things that your child can do to share their favorite parts of camp with your family? Maybe they can teach you a game from camp or camp song. Is there a camp meal you can make at home? Not every child will feel better by doing camp activities at home, so let them be the guide. Remember, it may take time for your child to process their feelings to get to a place where they can think about pro-actively moving forward.
- Check-in Again. Over the next few days, gently ask how they’re doing and see if they need more support. Try to remember to ask again as we get closer to the days when camp would have started.
- Review these resources addressing other challenges that can arise in a crisis:
- How to Talk to Your Children When Bad Things Happen: This article offers help with one of the biggest challenges of parenthood, explaining bad things in the world.
- Supporting Families During COVID-19: The Child Mind Institute shares supportive and comprehensive resources for parents on a number of coronavirus-related topics.
- Parenting in a Pandemic: Tips to Keep the Calm at Home: These tips from the American Academy are designed to help families through the current crisis.
- How to Be Your Best Self in Times of Crisis: Psychologist Susan David shares wisdom on how to build resilience, courage, and joy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in this TEDtalk.
- Emotional Regulation Worksheets: A Coping Skill Activity: This worksheet and calming technique can help you focus on the present rather than overthinking about the past or future.
- 51 Mindfulness Activities for Kids: These tips and activities can teach elementary-aged students how to practice mindfulness.