Don't Withhold Helpful Information
You probably do a pretty good job of explaining your child to his teachers. But during the summer, kids interact with many “new” people, including camp counselors, relatives, sports coaches, lifeguards, and babysitters.
By telling them what gives your child trouble, you help them head off all sorts of unpleasant incidents.
Two years ago, I helped an anxious 12-year-old get ready to attend sleep-away camp for the first time. Samantha suffered from separation anxiety and panic attacks; she and her parents worried that she would be homesick (even though a couple of her friends would be attending the camp at the same time).
With the permission of Samantha’s mom and dad, I phoned the camp director and explained the situation. She chose for Samantha an especially empathetic counselor, and asked the camp nurse to speak with Samantha and teach her some relaxation techniques. She also arranged for Samantha to talk to the camp director if the nurse was unable to help. As a last resort, Samantha would be allowed to call home to speak with her parents (something campers generally weren’t allowed to do).
Once Samantha was told about these arrangements, she felt reassured, and she had a great time at camp. Knowing that people were ready to help her if she needed it calmed her down.
Does your child feel anxious? Is he aggressive with playmates? Does she resist following rules? Think twice before keeping it a secret!