Homesickness is really an illness

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, Day Care & Education

I didn't do much for my first semester of college. I was far away from home, at a school I didn't really want to go to and had trouble relating to my peers.

My sleeping patterns became erratic, I quickly turned from a social butterfly to an introvert. It wasn't a good experience. I never knew a college freshman could cry so much.

Seems as if I was suffering from a particularly bad form of homesickness, one that affects 1 in 14 people. These people, much like myself, "(are) not eating or sleeping right, not playing with others. Or they have an intense preoccupation with home, they're not thinking about anything else."

Yup, that pretty much summed up my semester. I say semester because I left at Christmas and moved back home to go to a community college before I transferred to a state university.

So could we have predicted that my homesickness would have reached such a horrible level? According to the article, yes, we could have.

I had troubles, at times, being away from home. Pretty much, my entire life, I would become very upset when my Mom would have to go out of town. When it came time to choose a college, my parents pretty much gave me little choice.

Both of those would be red flags for some experts.

So, what would you do (or have you done) for a child that experiences extreme homesickness? Personally, as someone who had issues with it her entire life, letting the child have some say so in the proceedings is important. Let her help choose the summer camp. Maybe see if she can go to the same one as a trusted friend or family member.

If it is college you're dealing with, I suggest really discussing what your child wants with her. While you may not think she'll do well at a larger school, forcing her to go a school that doesn't suit her needs will not make the transition any easier.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.