Homesickness: what helps, kids out, outdoor experiences with the whole family

Homesickness: what helps?

May 9, 2014 0 Comments

Homesickness only affects children. Not correct. Even adults get homesick, only they do not admit it. But what to do when children suddenly get homesick on vacation or at the camp? We present you with possible solutions to homesickness.

Homesick starts with me immediately a movie in the head. A few years ago, as a mere 18-year-old Boy Scout Leader, I cycled to a hut for the first time with my group of wolves (these are the very small ones). On that day everything went wrong which could go wrong: Various bicycle defects, waterfall-like downpours, soggy roads and homesickness. When I arrived at the hut I cooked something for the boys and everyone was happy to finally get to bed. I was looking forward to a good book and as soon as I was sitting, two cubs came running “The Tobias (name changed) is homesick!” Sche..e! Exactly that has been the nightmare I feared as a young leader. I went to Tobias in the room. He sat on the edge of the bed and cried what was going on. Again and again he mumbled “I want to go home!” Partly he got bad breath, so he stepped into the homesickness. What to do? No car in the middle of the outback and it’s night. Then I remembered that his parents had given me a note with two phone numbers. At that time there was no mobile phone and fortunately the hut had a telephone. I called the first number, that of his parents. I let it ring for a good two minutes. Nothing. That’s when I thought. Should I cheat Tobias? I went to him and said that I could reach no one. The second time I called his grandparents. Again, I let it ring again for a long time and no one answered. Again I tried it with his parents. As it turned out, these were eating out with their grandparents. What to do? No car and a child who was terribly homesick. Again I went to Tobias and told him the truth. His reaction: “Well, then I’ll just sleep here!” Slipped into his sleeping bag and did not report the whole night. Unfortunately, I have experienced in other camps or huts also that homesickness less embarrassing in children. That’s when the parents arrived late at night.

Homesickness is a nasty thing. We tell you what can help.
photo (c)

Homesick what is that?

Homesickness is completely independent of age. Whether elementary student, high school graduate or father of a family: homesickness can all get. But what is actually homesick? Luckily, there are doctors and they have a technical term for everything: M orbus Helveticus. To German Swiss disease. As early as 1688, the physician Johannes Hofer described the symptoms of homesickness. Because the physician lived in Basel, one called homesickness the Swiss disease. But that will help you as a parent or group leader a little further if you have a child that is plagued by homesickness. All those who are affected by homesickness want only one thing: home! The strange environment, the many impressions and the lack of security trigger these homesick attacks. Especially children can not “filter” the new impressions accordingly. Homesickness is not only limited to holidays and travel. Even after a move there is homesickness: for the old apartment, the former kindergarten / school and the old friends. Adults manage, most of the time, to come to terms with the new one more quickly and to find it attractive and interesting.

Prevention of homesickness

It is best to get a grip on homesickness if you tune the child to the time without parents before the trip. Less helpful are phrases like “Since the mom / dad is sad but when you are sooooo far away!” The child gets thereby a guilty conscience. Tell the child how great it is there and what beautiful experiences are waiting.

  • Spend a night with the grandparents or good friends who live nearby
  • In the sleeping bag that is also at the tent camp, let the child sleep at home
  • Pack your favorite stuffed animal. The bear, stuffed bunny or doll are real miracles. They are there for the children day and night.

These are all ways to prevent homesickness.

When homesickness is acute

The nasty thing about homesickness is that most of the time it’s suddenly there. The child has just joked and played great to be terribly homesick in the next second. Least of all, slogans such as “Get a grip on yourself!” Or “Let the stupid howling cry!” Are important to consider the child. To listen to him. About the same as the two sozpads who met in the city. Then one asked the other “Do you know what time it is?” “Nope but great that we have talked about it!” Carefully brings the child from the “dark” emotional hole homesick.

Acute action against homesickness

  • Distract with reading aloud or a game
  • Paint or write down the great experiences of the day
  • Let yourself be told what the child liked best today
  • A phone call with the parents
  • stuffed animal

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Christina Cherry
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