Should you ship your kids to summer season college, and at what age? | EUROtoday

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Inès*, 35, admits it. When Yanis left for the primary “campaign” on the age of 6, “she didn’t sleep a wink all night”. “I am a very protective mother, almost paranoid,” jokes the architect. Her youngster leaves for 5 days and 5 nights – he doesn't have a cellphone to contact his mother and father. In entrance of him, the mom pretends to be “serene”, however, throughout the keep, she stays suspended on the information despatched by the supervisors.

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During the primary three days: nothing, not a message, not a photograph. “I experienced it in a very dramatic way: I played out every imaginable scenario,” she says with enthusiasm. I known as the camp, I wanted to know. That reassured me, immediately. »And then Yanis got here dwelling, “very happy”.

Away from dwelling for the primary time

Like Inès, many mother and father are afraid of sending their son or daughter to summer season camps. The latter represent another type of care to grandparents throughout the holidays and are nonetheless highly regarded. Between 2022 and 2023, 1.33 million departures have been recorded in these buildings.

An actual break in on a regular basis life, the primary camps are above all a founding stage for kids and adolescents. “It is often the first time that children go alone in an environment that is not at all familiar to them,” feedback Lise Barthélémy, physician in youngster psychiatry. If there isn’t any “absolute age” for letting your youngster go to camp – since “everything depends on their maturity” – the specialist signifies that 8-10 years can represent “a good horizon” for a primary departure. And provides: “The ideal would be for a boyfriend or girlfriend to leave[e] in the same adventure, it's more reassuring to already know someone. »

Summer school, from childhood to adolescence

Leaving the nest must therefore be prepared as a family. Because a summer camp requires many “adaptations” and “efforts” for the kid: sleeping removed from dwelling, with out mother and father or family members, whereas assembly new individuals. “It can be very stimulating as well as frightening, so these are moments to mark out,” she says. It is necessary that the guardian discusses their feelings and fears with their son or daughter, continues the kid psychiatrist. Let him inform him that he's joyful for him, that he trusts him to let him go to camp. What we have to do is present him that he can do it. »

For Inès, this entails every day discussions and studying. “Yanis had to know how to manage without my help, so we took it step by step,” she explains. He began showering and altering his garments on his personal. It was like a sport and he was very entertaining! »

My son got here dwelling all soiled and exhausted, however he had a banana!

Thus, summer season camps are a “real boost” in “the autonomy of your child”. “When everything goes well, the child becomes more independent, not only in daily tasks, such as feeding or washing, but also in his ability to separate from those close to him,” explains the kid psychiatrist. And, even inside a gaggle, the kid manages himself and might achieve confidence in himself and his skills. » This is the rationale why sociologist Pauline Clech considers that summer season camp marks a transition within the development of oneself in that it strikes adolescents “from one state of childhood to another of adolescence, even as a young adult.”

“There was clearly a before and an after,” says Julie, 50 years previous. The Parisian govt nonetheless remembers the “return from camp” of her “youngest”, then 8 years previous. After two years of Covid, she determined to ship her son “to the scouts so that he could be more in the community, so that he could meet people his age”. “My son came home all dirty and exhausted, but he had a banana,” she smiles. He knew plenty of songs, jokes, and wished to inform all of them. His keep had utterly modified him: he turned extra mature, much less reserved. »

The camp, an area of your individual

Summer camps thus represent a robust expertise in that they permit younger individuals to fulfill and construct “a space of their own, out of the sight of their parents, which gives them a strong feeling of freedom”, in keeping with sociologist Pauline Clech. And that is additionally what Julie famous: “When my son told me I warn you, I said bad words during the whole stay”, I informed myself that we had gained the whole lot. Because it's very wholesome that he can have a spot only for him exterior the home. »

If kids don’t rework “radically”, they purchase “new dispositions” by socializing with different friends their age. And confront otherness. Because, in keeping with the sociologist, even inside summer season camps “characterized by social homogeneity”, a social combine exists. “The presence of certain young people and/or adults from different social backgrounds introduces divergent ways of being and lifestyles,” notes the sociologist. This co-presence permits cross-cultural exchanges, a decentring from the “just world” by which younger individuals have been immersed since childhood and the lasting incorporation of “dissonant” methods of being and interactional codes – which distinction and distinction. add to these acquired inside the regular household or pleasant world. »

And change might be optimistic or unfavourable. If Inès is “overall very happy” along with her son’s stays, “having become more mature”, she additionally famous that the latter generally used “inappropriate expressions” – “And I instantly defined to him that it was not good to make use of these phrases! » Which won’t stop him from attempting the expertise once more sooner or later. She says: “My husband and I are already studying the brochures for the following trip. »