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Should I make dd, 11 go camping?

(16 Posts)
shits1 Sun 02-Aug-15 16:48:04

Please be gentle on me as I am really in a dilemma. DD had a serious illness from when she was 5yo, which saw her spending most of the past 5-6 years in hospital and with me sleeping with her. She has only just gone back to school in January this year after missing two years of school and she is a lot quieter and (I feel) has lost a lot of confidence. There are also some family issues going on, between me and H which I have not informed her, but perhaps she has picked up on as he is hardly ever around. So maybe the lack of his presence has also affected her confidence a little, but I am not sure.

She joined Girl Guides in school, she says a lot of her friends are in it. She has gone camping 2-3 times, and there is another one coming up and I put her name down for it, but now she says she hates camping and doesn't want to go. She says she feels lonely and lost while at camp, they split her up from her friends and they have to be in groups with other girls from other schools. And she gets homesick and misses me. The camp is only 10-15 minutes away from home! And it will only be for the weekend. I feel very strongly that she should go for it, as she will learn new things, and hopefully make new friends but she says she is shy and refuses to talk to strangers. And she says it is really tiring as they wake up at 6am and go to bed at 10.30pm.

I have tried persuading her, telling her she will learn lots of cool skills, and it is a great learning experience and I have also tried encouraging her, saying she will get lots of badges and I have tried bribing her with concert tickets and a trip away but so far she has refused all of it! She threw a huge tantrum the other night and finally H said she doesn't have to go if she doesn't want to.

I just want her to overcome her fears and be able to learn to take risks, and become more independent and not so dependent on me. It really worries me that she relies on me so much. Essentially I just want her to lead a normal life like other kids and not get bogged down by the thought that Oh, I was ill, and I can never be normal, I have limitations, I must not push myself. That is really all I want. Or am I wrong, and should I just let her stay at home. Please be gentle with me sad

usualsuspect333 Sun 02-Aug-15 16:50:23

I wouldn't make her go.

Pointlessfan Sun 02-Aug-15 16:53:17

She really does sound like she doesn't want to go if she has refused things like concert tickets. Maybe there will be an opportunity for a school trip when she could be with her friends and she might be happier with that.

GraysAnalogy Sun 02-Aug-15 16:53:21

I wouldnt make her go.

I appreciate you want to do it for the right reasons, but I think there's other ways for her to become independent. Give her time, she's only young.

In what way does she rely on you too much?

FromagePlease Sun 02-Aug-15 16:57:29

Sounds like she really doesn't want to. I remember hating brownie camp as a shy girl; nowhere to hide and hard to always be 'on show' or so I felt. If you push her to go she might withdraw from Guides completely.

Keep her at home and have a fun weekend together instead; lunch just the two of you, or swimming, or essentially anything that she would enjoy. I remember loving one on one time with my mum at that age.

OccamsLadyshave Sun 02-Aug-15 17:01:10

I wouldn't make her go. If she has a miserable time it could set her back.

I agree with you wanting to give her a boost though. How about inviting a close friend for a sleep over in a tent in the garden if you have one or at a local campsite with you there.

I was very poorly as a teen. It is easy to label yourself. Being forced out of it doesn't help but i got over it with time.

Good luck

CarrieLouise25 Sun 02-Aug-15 17:01:21

Please don't make her go. She's old enough to understand how she feels and what she wants.

She will get confidence from you allowing her to trust her own feelings and make her own judgements x

caravanista13 Sun 02-Aug-15 17:01:23

I really wouldn't force it. She's only going to benefit socially if she's happy there. If she's unhappy she won't feel like making new friends etc

shits1 Sun 02-Aug-15 17:17:39

Ok ok, I can see that I was perhaps misguided in trying to push her as everyone thinks I should let her stay at home. Thanks for all the advice.

GraysAnalogy, she still wants to sleep with me every night, and refuses to sleep in her own room. When I do manage to get her to sleep there, she will come to my room a few hours later either crying or just being miserable, saying she can't go to sleep. I have no idea how to resolve this. The other problem is that I have a 9-month old baby who sometimes wakes up for feeds in the night and I don't want her sleep to be disrupted otherwise she will be tired for school the next day.

I suppose I also thought going to camp might get her used to sleeping away from me. But maybe it would make things worse??

GraysAnalogy Sun 02-Aug-15 17:26:18

Oh bless you both. I have no idea how to tackle that but I'm sure some posters will help. Perhaps it might be worth making a thread on that issue, for some support?

CarrieLouise25 Sun 02-Aug-15 19:24:26

I do think making her sleep away would make things worse. But you're not wrong for wanting to help her resolve things x

There's a lot going on for your DD, and she has been through so much. I don't think indulging her in sleeping with you is a bad thing at all. People often think that by forcing a child to go it alone will give them confidence, but it's actually the opposite. Giving a child lots of time and letting them sleep with you will give them confidence to one day be fine on their own.

Can you go camping together, or do something else fun together? Some mummy and DD time would be lovely, especially as things with H are not going well.

Lots of luck x

Wolfiefan Sun 02-Aug-15 19:31:48

Could she go during the day?
Can you give her a special toy to cuddle? Can she wear/take something of yours?
Can you ask she gets to room with one of her friends?
Can you camp too?! grin

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 02-Aug-15 19:33:04

Is there a reason she can't sleep in with you? Sounds like she (and you) might get more sleep? She obviously craves the closeness, and she.might be feeling vulnerable about dad not being around and a new baby after you were so totally focused on her for so long.

With regards to the camp, definitely don't make her go. And I can totally understand where she is coming from, and why it would be genuinely miserable for her.

She's been ill for so long, probably most of her life that she can remember, its a big change suddenly being seen as normal and expected to.do normal things. She is going to need some time to adjust.

fruitpastille Sun 02-Aug-15 19:34:54

Can you perhaps say, OK she doesn't have to go camping but that weekend she has to really try a night in her room without you?

Or completely different - take her on a camping trip yourself - even camping in the garden if you have room? Encourage her to be independent by planning food for the trip, making a simple meal while you are there... Have fun together.

I hated trips with school etc at that age and I didn't have the other issues you mention.

cmt1375 Sun 02-Aug-15 19:35:29

I would talk to her Guiders and ask about her being able to be with at least one friend and see if that changes her mind about wanting to go.

sunnydayinmay Sun 02-Aug-15 19:37:29

I have an 11 year old boy. It is a scary/exciting time for them, as they are starting to make their own choices, but are still young.

I ready your posts as your dd still finding her feet, having spent so much time unwell. Plus you have a baby, who needs your attention. And vibes she is picking up re: you and your dh.

I think you should respect her decision, don't mention it again (I have to stop myself saying "sure you don't want to...", or "shame you missed..., which I know really annoys my ds).

Let her sleep with you for now, but say maybe you can move to weekends only, or you sit and chat with her in her room.

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