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Day Camp for Reserved 8-Year-Old

By Jodie Lynn


My eight-year-old daughter wants to go to a day camp with a couple of her friends, but even with friends going, we think she is still too reserved for the leaders/teachers and children at camp, plus an unfamiliar facility. She tried it last year and we couldn't get her to go back after only two days. The money paid was lost and the other parents were upset too, since we had a carpool schedule. She is promising that she will stay this time. Should we try it or make her wait one more year?


If you already know that she doesn't do well with new people, save your money for either one or maybe even two more years. There's no rush to get her in camp and it will save plenty of frustration on everyone's part. - N. M. N. in Boise, ID


I am not sure what type of camp you are referring to, but she seems a little young to be going to camp to begin with, even for someone who is not reserved, much less someone who is. More likely than not, she probably would like to go to camp due in large part because her friends are going and they are excited about it and make it sound fun. There are day camps where various activities are spread throughout a four-hour time frame four or five days a week with the kids returning home each day. There may even be some for three hours and last around six weeks. If I were you, I would start with these first and maybe add more next year. By the time she is ten, she could very well be ready for overnight camps. If you are referring to the typical day camp situation and this is something she has not been able to handle, then just skip it for another year. For this year, sign her up for activities that only require practices and games or recitals. Allow her to have fun at her own pace with plenty of success under her belt. This will help to build her self-confidence and still enhance her well-being. Be sure that you do not allow others to push or try to convince her to do something that you know she is not ready for. The last thing she needs at this point is to feel like a failure again. Just let her have fun and be a kid this summer without drama or guilt from anyone.

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To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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