DEAR HARRIETTE: My 9-year-old daughter is going to sleepaway camp for the first time this summer, and I am a basket of nerves. She is quite independent for her age, and we have gotten excellent reports about the camp. I’m not worried about her safety. I just know how much I’m going to miss her. The most time we have spent apart from each other is a week when I had to go on a trip for work. The camp allows parents to call children only once a week. How can I stay calm when I am going to be separated from my baby for two whole weeks? I’m already driving my husband crazy just thinking about it. -- Separation Anxiety, Alexandria, Virginia
DEAR SEPARATION ANXIETY: Most camps allow parents to send items to children during their stay. You can spend some of your time planning fun gifts to send. Don’t go overboard, though. This is your daughter’s time to begin to explore her independence within a safe environment. You need to trust that she will be OK.
Focus on yourself and tasks you want to accomplish at home and at work. Include your husband as a top priority! What are some of the things that you two enjoy doing but rarely have the time for anymore? Dinner dates? Visits with friends? Road trips? Breakfast in bed on the weekend? Think of ways that you can grow closer to your husband during this two-week period. If you two start enjoying each other’s company more, the time will zip by, and your daughter will be back before you know it!