What is adaptation?
Adaptation is a way to survive and we all know it from our first biology lessons for species survival. The meaning of the word is – biological mechanism , through which living organisms / humans adapt to a new environment or adjust to an existing but changed environment.
Adaptation in organized places as a children’s language international camp requires adaptation of three levels.
- building social contacts with new children and adults.
- building trust in teachers, animators, management.
- adapt to camp mode and rules.
Psychological profile of a child’s adaptation – common mistakes
The child is dependent on his parents , especially the mother, in his first years. Many parents leave the child under their protection for a longer time, do not enroll him early in kindergarten / there are cases when the child leaves at the age of 5-6 /, in an attempt to miss the difficult period of separation and deprivation of your child’s presence.
The long parental protection “under one’s own wing” puts the child in the position of an involuntary toy – it is deprived of the privilege to make personal decisions, it is difficult to trust other adults, and this can be teachers, educators, relatives , is insecure in his contacts with other children.
It is no coincidence that the usual age recommended for starting kindergarten is three years. The time has come for them to grow up, to live a life different from the one with mom and dad at home.
Once made, this mistake leads to other consequences at a later age . The child becomes insecure and seeks constant presence, approval, protection.
This leads to lack of self-confidence and sometimes even grown children, as adults, to show enviable self-control in stressful situations, make great efforts to do so.
Adaptation requires certain skills, such as:
- to rely on ourselves.
- to look for opportunities and solutions in any situation, without looking for help and approval of our actions.
- to be flexible, both in our thoughts and in our actions.
This is a fine setting that the family adds in childhood. It can be learned at a later age, but certainly requires more effort and practice.
How do we prevent mistakes in developing adaptation skills?
In principle, the “spoon” adaptation does not work. Visiting any place from time to time is not the perfect recipe.
Requires perseverance or a little each day. This applies to all processes and stressful situations for young and grown children.
Getting used to even positively “stressful” situations, in general, reduces stress after repeating them during the first 40 days. In this way we create a habit that is of great benefit to the child’s body.
Therefore, we recommend – wherever you take your child, wherever you enroll him, make sure that he visits the place daily, even for an hour or two.
This will create the habit and security for him, that in the end you do not “abandon” it. You always come back for it.
The words we say in parting a, rituals
I personally have a wonderful habit when I leave my son are independently in a given place. I always say the same words to him: “ Have fun! I will come to pick you up! ”
Something like a spell to assure him this is a great place , he has something to do and how to have fun there, and after the allotted time, I will come back for him. These words always work !
You can build a completely different farewell ritual for your child. None a single universal one. Everyone can show originality. I have seen various acts of separation – from a special handshake or ritual with hands, to dancing and hugging in a special way.
Important! Never, I repeat never, get away quietly without a sign, without words, covert. This is the most terrible “farewell”.
You may find the easiest thing for your child. But believe me, this leaves you in a state of constant anxiety and waiting for you to show up, without any explanation as to why you “disappeared” suddenly. .
Toy or home object
There are children who prefer to hold a toy, a blanket, or even an unusual object from home. These are usually kinesthetic children who get to know the world by touch.
It is essential for them to keep something that belongs to the family home, which reminds them of the warmth of parental love.
We recommend for our younger graduates to bring a favorite toy or object from home, which they can place near them in the room. We have little alumni who bring a teddy bear or other plush toy to sleep with.
This also aids the adjustment process . In my practice I have had children who wear their own pillow, because for them this is their relationship with the familiar, sweet, family.
Preliminary location information – a way to prevent fear of the unknown
If we want the adaptation to be smooth, it would be great to discuss all the details with the child in advance , long before his appearance in the camp.
Explaining the daily routine, menu, activities, project work topics, interesting and fun afternoon activities such as horseback riding, swimming, cycling, volleyball and soccer competitions, badminton, paintball, contributes to clear expectations.
Adaptation usually fights the fear of the unknown – it’s physiological and psychological moment. Giving information about what will happen is the strongest prevention of adaptation stress.
In case the child has a more complex adaptation, he probably needs more time to “get used” to the thought of a change. It is important to know the approximate length of this time.
It is very individual. For some children, you can simply say: “Let’s go!” and they will appear with ready luggage and a smile. In others – even after days we will not notice the slightest sign of enthusiasm or preparation.
This is where motivation comes to the rescue. Find even one thing that is attractive to the child in the place where you are trying to invite him, speaking only for children with difficult adaptation.
Very often the more adaptable find something to motivate themselves and your work as parents, miraculously, is halved.
Of course, no one describes difficult adaptation as unusual. It is also a normal psychological state . The question is in the time it takes.
Give your child time, take your time, don’t be impatient. Let him ask his questions, talk, discuss clothing ideas, games, activities. Set language learning as a goal and something that brings many benefits.
Do not manipulate
Sometimes the parent has exhausted all possibilities. Either because he is stressed at work, or he is pressed by tasks and deadlines, but he does not have the opportunity to fully dedicate himself to the idea of gradual and smooth motivation.
Then he usually capitulates and announces this, promising the child something / usually a big gift or something he desperately wanted before / just to make things happen and the child to go to camp.
The camp itself is a reward! Try to suggest this to the child.
Remember – whatever your attitude to the world is, so will your child’s. If you show impatience, resentment, disapproval – it copies you. If you are patient, enjoy the little things, show understanding and liking – it follows you.
Responsibility for yourself
What we recommend is – make it clear to the child that he goes to camp to have fun and improve to make new friends and discover new interests in yourself.
It’s a growth process and it’s not only yours, but and his responsibility. Teach him that taking requires giving.
Often in the speed with which we make decisions about our own lives, as long-lived experts, we expect the same speed of thinking and reaction from our children.
Let’s not forget that they have ten times less experience and experiences than us, much more vulnerable and unaccustomed to overcoming difficulties, which for the adult are only slight obstacles.
If I’m worried – you’re worried too
It’s normal for a parent to have some concerns. However, he leaves the child alone for a while , will not see him, will not make minute-by-minute routine decisions for him.
Whether he manages to fall asleep, whether another child will not hurt him, whether the teachers are attentive and kind to him, whether he has found a friend, whether he eats well.
Fortunately for you, all the teachers and animators at LuckyKids are professionals, which we have carefully selected. They work with love and devotion!
And, yes, we know it’s hard for you, your reactions sometimes seem exaggerated even to yourself.
In such cases, we strongly recommend that you do not talk to your child about your concerns , so you will only increase his stress level. Talk to us – express your fears in words, share them. We can and do know how to help you with advice and action, fully understanding your condition.
We advise evening conversations with the child on the phone, at the allowed time, to be filled with positive questions about the past day, friends, food, what the child liked.
The moment you express disagreement, disapproval or strong concern, it will automatically be passed on to him. You are like emotionally connected vessels . Please keep this in mind.
Use words that mean positive emotion and love often, such as:
- I’m happy
- I look forward to
- I’m happy
- you can
- I love you
Read books, talk
You can create a habit, if you don’t already have one, for a reading ritual . It is a wonderful tool for reducing stress. In addition, reading works to increase language proficiency and shape a child’s speech.
For the younger ones, you can include tales or stories in which there are similar cases where the child separates and reunites with his family.
For older people who have a habit of reading, it is a real treasure to take a suitable book with you, so they can use it at the right time.
Yes, I know that most young people and teenagers prefer to sleep with a phone or tablet in hand, but there are cases where the habit of reading, built for a long time, gives results at this age.
Camp with friends
In case your child can’t adapt in such a short time / two weeks /, the best way is to sign him up to visit camp with one or more friends , with relatives – such as sister, brother, cousin, cousin, closest friends and classmates.
This is a way to bring some of your family and friends to LuckyKids , to be happy.
In conclusion, a child’s adaptation is a skill that parents create for years. The important thing is to do everything with love, to understand the complexity of the process and to be patient. We are with you to help you! Good luck!