I am taking my son to a new day camp this morning. It’s run by UCLA Family Commons and is intended to promote social and emotional intelligence in boys while they play games, do martial arts and have fun at the beach. I am optimistic that it will be an incredible experience for him; however, he is very scared about going. My son takes a while to warm up to new experiences and reacts strongly if anything gives him discomfort. He is currently stating “I AM NOT GOING.” I know my work right now is to stay calm and connected. If my anxiety about his anxiety gets too activated, then it will obviously be more difficult to help him calm down and find his confidence. Stay tuned . . .
Update 2:30 pm: I managed to remain very calm and supportive this morning, but David and I each stayed with him at the camp (I did the first 1/2 of the day, David the second 1/2) because our son was beside himself with anxiety. He started to improve as the day wore on, but I will be surprised if he is interested in going back tomorrow. Frankly, the execution of the camp on day 1 didn’t live up to the stated ideals. I think the camp is totally well-intentioned, but there didn’t seem to be any observable connection between their mission statement and the execution of the various activities. So disappointing.
I am a firm believer in helping my kids to reach beyond their comfort zones. However, if my son feels strongly about not going back to camp tomorrow, I might decide throw in the towel on this one.
Update 3:30 pm: Just when I think I’ve figured out how things are going to go. . . . David just texted me that our son wants to go back to camp tomorrow (without us there!).