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Helping Children Step Outside of Themselves

By Gabbi Browne

Katy, TX News – Our four boys are attending camp this week. It’s three hours a day at a nearby school. Our oldest has attended this camp before, but it’s the triplets’ first summer. While I am using my solo time well—Costco trips, exercise, laundry, and a dentist trip—I have to be honest that I miss my companions a bit.

I am hoping that the boys will be making some new friends, although they probably won’t be year-long friends. It is meant to be a fun time for all.

Yesterday at pick-up time, the triplets said they liked camp. They had fun playing with the toys in the room. They didn’t enjoy the sand in their shoes.

“How did it get in your shoes,” I asked?

“We played in the sandbox.”

“What can you do to not get sand in your shoes?”

“Not use the sandbox!”

Problem solved? Maybe?

They didn’t know any of the names of the other children in their class. I asked them to tell me one name at today’s pick-up. Challenge hopefully accepted!

Our almost-seven-year-old is a different story. He was alone in the class, sans brothers. It’s a large group and the theme is math with pirates. He was eager to begin this camp session. It was unfortunate to hear that he had “no fun” on his first day.

“What happened?”

“No one spoke to me hardly at all.”

My heart broke.

“That is tough. Did you talk to anyone?”

“A little.”

“How about on Day Two you look for another boy who doesn’t seem to have a close friend and you go talk to him?”

There are 18 other boys in the class; I am thinking someone else is feeling left out. I got him to tell me that he would do it, so let’s see.

How do you more experienced parents handle situations like this? I am sure others like me would love to hear your hits and misses.

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