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Homesick at summer camp: five tips for parents with unhappy campers

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Courtesy of Crystal Lake Camps

(Read caption) Even if they struggling with being homesick, our teen experts say that parents should give their kids time to settle and make friends before bringing them home from summer camp. In this 2010 file photo, campers play Tug-of-War at Crystal Lake Camps in Hughesville, Pa.

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Every summer I help parents deal with this issue: kids are homesick and want to come home from camp. This is certainly not an easy one, but there are a few guiding principles:

1. Don't immediately panic. Some initial homesickness is to be expected.

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2. Try to buy time. Tell your child to give it a little more time and then you'll revisit. In the meantime, your child may settle in comfortably.

3. If you are worried, get feedback from the camp staff about how your child seems to be doing.

4. Keep in mind that homesickness is contagious and all of the kids in the bunk may gradually move from homesickness to happiness.

5. If your child is telling you something that is very troubling, then by all means assess the situation and consider whether or not coming home is the necessary response.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. Jennifer Powell-Lunder and Barbara Greenberg blogs at Talking Teenage.