Dd doesn't want to go on school residential(7 Posts)
Dd is 9.5, Year 5.
In March her year group go away for a weekend. Dd is very worried about going because she doesn't like to sleep away from home. She doesn't go to sleepovers etc and didn't want to go to Brownie camp last year.
She's really worrying about it because on the one hand, all her friends are going and she doesn't want to miss out. But she feels embarrassed about her fears and doesn't feel able to discuss it with anyone other than me and dh.
I have suggested that she tries sleeping at a friend's house for one night as a trial run, with the promise that I can come and collect her if she changes her mind. But she thinks it will be embarrassing for her if she wants to leave.
I know she won't be like this forever, but whilst I don't want to force her to go, I do feel it's my job as a parent to encourage her to do things that are slightly out of her comfort zone. It is ONLY the nights she is worried about and I have told her that even if she does get upset/homesick, she will feel better in the morning and enjoy the activities.
I have discussed it with the school as everyone else has paid their deposits. They did say originally we could decide nearer the time but now I have heard that they want a decision by December.
I would say work on the sleepover for a start. Does she have a good friend whose parents you know that you could arrange the sleepover with, and have a chat to about them and explain her fears?
DDs first sleepover with a group of friends was in year 4, and it was quite a milestone, she was nervous but she felt really proud afterwards. One of the girls was scared of sleepovers and was adamant beforehand that she wasn't sleeping over - so her mum agreed that she was only going along for a playdate, and once the other girls went to bed she would come and pick her up. Anyway, when it came to it she was having such a good time that of course she didn't want to leave and ended up sleeping over!
Lots of children have different fears/issues at that age, she shouldn't feel embarrassed.
It's a tricky one because the residential trips are so beneficial but you can't force them. Could you encourage her to talk about it to a friendly teacher or member of staff?
My dd worried for months about her year 5 residential trip. I encouraged her to go even though I really wanted to let her stay home, because I knew she'd enjoy the activities and that pushing herself out of her comfort zone would be good for her. I actually never mentioned that not going was an option, I think she thought you had to go.
Anyway, she went and she loved it, even though she did get homesick and cry one night. But she wasn't the only one crying, and her friends comforted her. When she came home she was so proud of herself, and she couldn't wait to go on the year 6 one, which she also loved. She still doesn't like sleepovers though.
I think sometimes you have to be rational and remember that she will be safe and warm and with people who care about her. Even if she is unhappy for an hour or so at night, she will enjoy most of it and will learn that she is capable of staying away from home and even having fun. Good luck.
I'm assuming OP must have made a decision now, as the thread was started in November and not updated by her since. (The school wanted a decision in December).
My ds was quite apprehensive about his Y5 residential but it had the advantage it was to London, which he knows quite well. He'd done a number of sleepovers by then as well, although much prefers to host than to do sleepovers elsewhere.
Thanks all for your input.
Update - have managed to persuade her to go and I have paid for it! I think she will enjoy it overall and as you say warmworm even if they get a bit homesick at nighttime they will survive!
She's worrying about the room arrangements though. I THINK how it works is that each child chooses a few friends who they would like to share with and it's arranged so they're with at least one friend. Although dd says none of her friends are going to put her on their list Maybe because she's a late addition to the party and they assumed she wasn't going....?
My DD ended up a last minuter on a school residential trip due to her faffing. I spoke to her teacher and they did a minor reshuffle to make sure she was with 2 girls she knew. It was fine. You may find the other friends have already done lists. I'm sure school will sort it. Hope she enjoys it.
Aw, make sure she takes a cuddly with her for night time. My quite shy dd was like this, very worried beforehand, then had an absolute ball and can't wait for the next one (first one was in year 3 and she's a very late summer baby!). Just keep mentioning occasionally and reassuring, speak to teachers to make sure she'll be well looked after.
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