This is a "what is going on in my personal life" sort of post. No rants and no outfit posts this time around but I should have some more fun stuff coming soon.
My baby bat, Philip started summer (day) camp this Monday. This is NOT a sleep away camp but a day camp where children go to while the parents are at work during the summer months.
I found a camp that offers a wide range of activities. They do play sports (not Philip's favourite thing to do since he is an artsy kid) BUT they also play a lot of board games (Connect Four, Jenga, Snakes & Ladders, Sorry, etc) and they do a lot of crafts. I thought this was a perfect fit for him.
I thought I was all set until it came to the morning drop off because I completely forgot how shy, anxious, and introverted he is.
As a result, he has missed two days so far (I had to go pick him up) because he got shy, scared and flipped out. He did a full day on Monday and appeared to be happy. Tuesday, I had to get him early, Wednesday he had a field trip, therefore, lasted a whole day. When I went to go get him after work, he did not look like my kid. It looked like he was in a torture chamber and completely broke down the moment he saw me. I have seen Philip go through a period of adjustment when he started kindergarten last fall. I saw meltdowns and tantrums. I was able to deal with it. The expression on his face and how he cried in my arms yesterday will haunt me for a very long time. I kept it together but the moment he fell asleep that night, I completely broke down. Today, I had to pick him up on my lunch hour and due to Jay and I both being busy with work (I have a meeting all morning) we decided to just take him to my mom's.
I am so grateful my work has been very understanding of this and that is why I need to put my work first tomorrow. We tried placing him with a different group (his age and younger) but he doesn't want to go. We originally felt like perhaps his current group is a little too mature for him (there are kids his age and older) but I bet he doesn't want to change his surroundings.I also don't want him in the younger group. I felt like there were not enough adults for the number of little kids (ages 3 to 6)
This leaves my husband and I confused and with a very tough decision on our shoulders: Should we pull him out of day camp or should I encourage him to stay? Philip is a lot like me. He is not an extrovert. He prefers solitude and perhaps a day camp environment where there are lots of group activities is not the right place for him? He did seem to like to play in the water and talked about doing crafts. I also noticed that there is A LOT of structure and leaves very little time for "free range play" which I am a big believer of and is something that Philip needs! At least at school, he has downtime in the morning at the school daycare, recess, lunch and after school. Even the unstructured play time at the day camp has themes and guidelines!
For now and this decision may change: Since it has not been his first full week, I am going to give him a couple of more days of camp next week. If things don't improve, I am pulling him out. My mom graciously volunteered to
I don't want to teach him that it is OK to quit because things are not going to his liking and want to encourage him out of his comfort zone. On the other hand, if I push him too much it could have some serious psychological effects. I want to help him out of his bubble not push him further inside!
Looking back at my youth, I was never a day camp kid. My mom didn't work. I do remember when I was in Brownies and I hated it. I was there for maybe 6 months until I finally quit. I remember having to go to a sleep away camp with my Brownie group and I hated that too. It wasn't only homesickness that affected me, it was sharing a room with 20 to 25+ kids AND never having personal space. In a way, by the end of that horrible weekend, it gave me confidence in dealing with a very extroverted world. I was hoping this experience could be the same for Philip.
Fellow parents/ introverts - what are your thoughts? Am I making a wise choice? How would you or your child feel in this situation?
Thank you all for reading and I look forward to reading your comments!
Here are some additional resources if you stumbled upon here and are reading up on introverted kids: