Should I make my son go to summer camp?

Ask him for the reason he doesn’t want to go and see if it’s something that can be worked through. If he still insists he doesn’t want to go, don’t force him. Give him things to do throughout the day, things he can show you when you get off of work to get him off the games a bit. Example, give him chores, a puzzle, reading etc, when you get home the chores should be done, puzzle with some progress, new chapter read on a book etc. Personally, for the summer, I don’t see an issue with them relaxing with video games, heck all year they have hectic schedules, especially if they’re in sports or extra curriculars, two months of them chillin is fine but everyone is different. If gaming is a big issue for you then give him activities you can check in on him for. You can also set up for cousins to hang with him or have him go to friends houses once in a while.


I honestly can’t say for sure what I’d do until I was in that position… My son is 3 so when I think about him leaving me it gives me anxiety still lollol.

But, I would like to think that I would at least make him go a couple days out the week or something along those lines. Especially if he wasn’t being very productive or have any friends to hang out with.

If he doesn’t have friends around, he’s probably also super nervous about going and that could be why he’s trying to dismiss it all together. I was a daycare teacher that also worked camp in the summer and we did a lot of fun things. And if there were kids that had trouble making friends we would help them… if that’s the case with your son I would try talking to the counselors about it so they can help.

You are the parent so be the parent. He doesn’t get to make the decision or have a choice. Make him go to camp eventually he will make friends and like it and if not oh well. He has to understand that in life there are times you have to do things you don’t want to do or like to do.


I wouldn’t. That’s just me. That’s an age where they’re getting new hormones, insecure/anxious around some people, shy, other kids become more critical/some are bullies, etc.
My husband still loves video games and played them a lot in the summer as a kid. He’s 35 now and grew up to be a very well functioning, charismatic, hard working person.
But that’s just me. You’re the parent and knows what’s best and you know your child the most. Good luck! :revolving_hearts:

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does he say why he doesn’t want to go? my teen gives me pushback sometimes too, for camps… but his reasons for not wanting to go are because he wants to play his game and he doesn’t want to get up early. however, every year he loves it. i “force” him to go the first day, and then he has the time of his life. it’s just getting over that hump.

but all kids are different. you know your son, and if you think he will legitimately hate it, then don’t force him. but definitely find out what his hesitation is.


Honestly, I cannot even count how many times my son has told me he hated something and didn’t want to go, just because he has anxiety about going, and then SUPER enjoyed himself when he finally went. I’d make him go. Tell him to just give it a shot, cause He’ll never know until he tries.


I’d make him go. My eldest 13 didn’t want to go, I told her she isn’t staying home and playing video games or watching tv all summer. She has a few day camps and 2 weeks of overnight camps. For all of our sanity, the kids need to go.


I would talk to him and see what his reasons are and then meet him half way? Maybe ask him if there’s a certain camp he would be willing to go that’s a reasonable price for you? I mean would you want to go somewhere for two months that you just didn’t want to be at?


I would make him go to camp. I believe children should not be inside or playing on electronics all day. We are raising our 7, soon to be 8, to be like we were where we are outside all day with no electronics. They have them but only use them for trips of longer than 2 hrs.


Honestly, asking people for parenting advice on Facebook is not a good idea. After reading the comments I stand by this. He’s your son,decide if you will allow him to stay home or not. It’s no one’s business but yours. Mom shaming in any form is disappointing. Making him go does not mean you’re a bad mom, letting him stay home doesn’t mean you’re not parenting right either.


Depends on why he hates it. If it’s because it keeps him away from his video game then I would continue summer camp.


I would not make him go. Listen to your child & let him be a child. It’s all about balance. Plan to do things with your sons. Swimming, hiking & other fun things. My grandkids love their video games, but, they also love swimming , swinging on their swings, jumping on trampoline, to name a few. Love for their mom to ride bikes with them. Just make it enjoyable for your sons, they will be grown before you know it . I hated summer camp & never was forced to go. It was over rated & I thought I would have fun, but it was not fun for me. I never went back.

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At 11, I’d let him stay home, rather than go… Especially if he’s telling me what he feels most comfortable with… Socializing isn’t for everyone, especially an entire week.

No!! Every child is different. Send the one that wants to go and just maybe will come back and tell the other how much fun he had and the other may change his mind next year. Don’t force them to do anything they don’t wanna do, socially I mean


What’s wrong with playing video games all day?
I don’t understand why people think their kids have to always be involved in something.
Let them be kids.


Give him some choice in the camp he will attend. Rather than just forcing him to do what you want. Tell him he has to go but he can have input on where he goes .


If you make him go and he really doesn’t want to, he will have resentment towards you and may “act out” so he doesn’t have to go back. Maybe research local libraries, sometimes they have summer events for kids, or find other camps you can afford and talk with him…find a compromise. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be “stuck” somewhere you didn’t really want to be


My answer would depend on his reasons. If my daughter is scared or uncomfortable she wouldn’t have to go. If she’s just being a moody pre-teen then she would go.

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Maybe compromise and he can go 2 or 3 days a week so he is not home all week alone.


I wouldn’t make my 11 year old go if he didn’t want to. My oldest 11 and his brother 8 are going to try Fitch camp this year and my oldest was a little unsure but I told him he can go the first day and if he hates it than he doesn’t have to continue to go.
Just tell him no video games until the time camp would be over and give him chores to do.


I think it’s your child it’s your choice and really kids have too much say so nowadays so I’d make them go


I think the compromise of go 3/stay 2 is excellent. It gives him some autonomy while keeping him socially active. Pre teens and teens do need more solitude because their hormones are crazy. He can do specific chores like mowing or laundry on the home days.

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I don’t see a problem with video games? If those are his interests now let him enjoy them. As kids get older the less they want to be outdoors


Personally. No. I understand not wanting him inside playing games all day but then again it is summer and I would just let him do the things he enjoys doing. When school starts back he will make friends he can do stuff with the following summer. But this one just let him relax and do what makes him happy. I’m sure he was sad to leave his old friends behind so just let him do what he enjoys doing while he can before school starts. Give him chores he can do while he’s home.

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I wouldn’t send him either, because I don’t want to have an angry pre teen the rest of the summer with him being mad at you. Also find things in the new community that involves kids. We are planning on moving in the next year, so we are looking at different places to have family hang outs and kid hangouts.


Find out why he hates it… bullying? Inappropriate behavior happening? If its just that “its lame!” or “it’s boring!”, then make him go. You need to work to support the household and cant truly do that with your mind halfway on caring for him. You will only stress yourself out and he will definitely feel it; then it snowballs into both of you being stressed, which is a recipe for a rotten summer.

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I would make mine go esp if I’m not home all day and I know he will be alone. A little disappointment is great for resilience I’ve heard.

find him a summer camp that does what he likes. if not camping. their is a camp just for bikes or even dirt bikes.
their is camps where they build machines or just collect and study bugs.
there are so many camps to choose from. find ones that fall within their interests. they will have a lot of fun.

My son didn’t want to go to camp starting around this age. We agreed he would 2-3 days a week i stead. It worked out well.

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I think it’s great to have something for them to do because of the year they just had, but you know him well enough to know if he will adjust after a day or two.

Why don’t you meet half way? Ask him to go for 5 days and if he is still unhappy go and collect him. At least that way he’s tried it. Also maybe do a camping pack for him? Try to get him all excited. Watch movies that involve going camping ect. Anything to make the subject a positive one. But at the end of the day if they don’t want to after everything you’ve tried then I wouldn’t force it on them.

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I would at least have him try it . He may very well change his mind and end up enjoying it. Has he said why specifically he doesn’t want to/like it. Because , him saying “Because, I just dont”. ,isn’t an answer. BUT, if he had a VALID reason for not liking/wanting to do it, then I’d come up with a plan B.

Is he an introvert? I know I am. If my parents would have sent me to summer camp I would not have had any fun. It would have been extremely stressful on me.

Or, is he just stubborn and doesn’t want to go? If that’s the case it could be good for him to get out and socialize.

It depends on if you paid for it and if you need it for childcare. Also check with your state/area and see if there is an age limit before you can leave him at home. Some places have an age limit where at 11 you could get in trouble for leaving him alone

The lessons and life experiences that you teach them today could be the very important tool they need in the future!!!

I Would absolutely talk to him to make sure his hating it isn’t because of a bully or someone making him feel unsafe.

Because if it’s not you’re teaching him that not everything in life is all sugar and spice.

Imagine when he’s older not going to work because he’s hating it.

Maybe just explain to him sometimes in life you all have to sacrifice in order to achieve a goal.
Like eg, you work so you are sacrificing your time to have a stable life for your family.
The kids are helping by going to summer camp so you can work without worrying about their safety etc.

I hope you can understand what I’m trying to say lol

I hated camp also and I wouldn’t let mine go,I rather mine be in the house and have simple chores set and hopes he met a friend or sending him could cause alot more problems as he isn’t adjusted to any of this yet it seems.

Have him go this year and if he doesn’t like it when it’s all said and done with, I wouldn’t make him go next year… by next year he may have neighborhood friends he could hangout with.

Talk to the camp counselors(AMAZING PEOPLE), they can introduce him to other kids and make sure he is included. Then make a 2 week deal with him. If he still hates it find something else for him to do

Talk to him about it and why he doesn’t want to go. I wouldn’t let.him stay home if it’s because of his games. I have the opposite problems my kids want to be on the go so they play softball all year around.

You don’t know me I get that, but I live in Chatham with a very large yard and lots of kids in the neighborhood. If you wanted someone to keep him. I am/ was bonded I’m a grandma of 3 and could help you out. Also 1st shot on the 6th

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Make him go for a week and if he doesn’t like it then you can get him out of it. He might just not like it cuz it’s out of his comfort zone.

Is there another summer camp he’d be interested in? Perhaps one with a focus on archery, or climbing, sailing, or horseback riding?

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He’s 11! So ask him to give you reasons why he doesn’t want to go & what he plans to do with his time if he doesn’t go. If he doesn’t have good reasons & can’t give you a good plan on what he will occupy his time with then I’d seriously consider sending him to camp. I’d take into consideration past camp trips & maybe talk with other parents if they are available to see if they might be having same issue.

Are there any sports he’s interested in? A community pool or swim team? Any school enrichment programs he can do part of the day and still have time to play games with his friends online.

Why does he hate it? Is there a valid reason? Or just pre-teen grumpiness?

For me, I’d have to have an honest conversation with him🤷🏼‍♀️


I’d tell him it’s his choice but tell him exactly what you just shared with us. Let him decide, weigh the pros and cons together.

If you have to work then yes, plus he should be there to look after his brother, he will enjoy it once hes there,
I work and have to put my 5yo in after school clubs he hates them complaining all the wsy to school he dosent want to go but i need the wrap around child care and teachers say hes fine, gets involved and has fun

I would not. I would be asking a lot of questions worried something bad happened to him at camp.

Can you compromise and maybe do a part-time camp…say a couple days a week? Or allow him to stay home with the forewarning that screen time will be limited (or at least earned day to day and not a given all day every day thing)?

I would send him. You just moved so he hasn’t been to this camp to have a legitimate reason to hate it yet. It’s his only chance to make new friends before the new school year.

The bigger issue is did you pay for it and is it refundable if it doesn’t work out in a few weeks?

Same boat here. I have girls 13 & 9. Youngest wants to go so bad, oldest is scared. It’s sink or swim, I think sometimes you have to push the comfort zone a little. You know they’re safe and will most likely have a blast, they just have to have a little push…

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He might make friends over the summer if he is given a chance … Idk you could keep him home and set out guidelines of how the summer will go … If he doesn’t go to camp this is how it will be …

I wouldn’t make him. But those video games & the wifi coming to work with me lol. He can stay home and clean. Do chores. Watch tv when he done with chores.

Not sure where you are, but where I am, leaving an 11yr old at home alone is illegal… sometimes you have to make the hard decisions for your kids

My 7yo is stoked, my 11 yo not so much but I’m making him 4 weeks. He’ll enjoy it once he does it, but he’s stressed about missing video game time also :roll_eyes:

On the other hand my 7yo is doing 9 weeks :blush:

He probably just wants to sit at home and play video games. I would not let my 11 yo daughter home alone at all. It’s not that I don’t trust her it’s just that I think 11 is to young. I think it would be good to get him doing active things with other kids

If not camp, something else. I would insist he either goes to camp or joins a sport or a club so he gets exercise and socializing. Ask him his reasoning for not going. If it’s just " I’d rather play video games and watch tv" then definitely make him go. If he’s been before and someone was cruel or inappropriate with him, find him something else to do. My son wanted to stop going to his church youth camp because they forced them to do scary things like jumping off the high dive or zip lining to “face your fears” but I don’t find it necessary to do dangerous sports if you are terrified by it. It’s not like “I’m afraid of the dentist but I don’t want my teeth to rot so I have to face my fear”, ya know? So I told him he didn’t have to go. Long story short, get him out there doing something with other kids, whether it’s camp or some other summer fun thing.

Im here for the comments :eyes: my 11 yr old son is the same way 🤷🏾 I dont force him and you cant pick their hobbies for them.

I wish there was summer camp around my home town. My kids would love it

Sounds like he’s old enough to stay home alone.

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That’s a tuff one. I think maybe once he gets there he’ll change his mind and have a good time and make some friends.

Don’t make him go. My mom did that to me when i was younger, and i spent the whole time being miserable and trying to get sent home

Make him go. He will either enjoy it when he gets there, or hate the expirience. Then you’ll know for the future. Theres always something to learn from expiriences even if you dont enjoy them.

Does he have a favorite family member to hang with near by? Library programs,ect

I would probably make a fair deal so they at least try it. If they dont like it & don’t want to go after 1 or 2 weeks depending how long it goes for, then they can stay home.

I’d have him make the best of it. Tell him it’s either a fun summer camp or daycare.

I would ask your babes what’s making them hate camp so much. Could be some underlying issues there. Unless…your little just wants a video game filled summer…in which I would ship em out lol. It will be good for them to be in nature. Making friends. Experiences and all. BUT definitely figure out why💙

I was forced to go some were when I was a kid hated it so I kicked off they locked me in the bathroom on my own

How can he know if he hates it? Has he been camping before? It would be a good place to make new friends.

That’s so tough. We don’t want to force our kids to do things they don’t want to, but sometimes it’s inevitable due to circumstances, and sometimes it’s what’s best for them. I’d send him.

Dont make him go to camp if he doesn’t want to but I would definitely take his game system etc from him and give him a bike and put his rear outside and put the game systems away until camp is over be strict. To many parents give in and then their children think they can run the house take the game system away and when camp is over give him a time limit after chores etc are done he’s 11 give him things to do to earn gaming time

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Personally i hated when my mom sent me to camp against my will. I never enjoyed it at all. I wont do the same to my kids

From a kid that was forced as a kid… make him go. If he actually gives it a chance and doesn’t like it then agree not to sign him up again. But make him go. He’s 11, he will change his mind about it daily but enjoy it overall.

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Do not make him go! I was in the same situation at that age… I HATED it. It really is a bad memory.

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No. Kids don’t just hate things for no reason… there will be plenty of stuff to do on the weekends and after work maybe he needs one on one time with you, and this will be the perfect opportunity. There’s always next summer :woman_shrugging:t4: maybe sibling will inform him of all the fun things he missed out on and he’ll wanna go next time

I went thru this exact situation. I signed her up for 3days a week instead and she ended up loving that

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Maybe compromise? Tell him if he does 3 days he can have 2 off ? Then do 3 more etc etc so he feels like he is being heard while also doing what you need/want of him?

Find out why he hates camp. He may have legitimate reasons not to go. Are there any other day camp options.? Listen to your child but if he’s not being abused or neglected, you have the final say

As a single parent I would it is only a week right

Have home go for 1 week to see what it’s like then tell him that he has to go at least 3 days and which 3 days would he like to go. That way he can check the calendar and if they certain activities that he likes on certain days it will make it easier. You may find that giving a choose will make him feel as if he has some control

I would tell him that he can choose a different camp. There is multiple options for camps in the summer he can choose something that interests him more and keeps him active

Definitely, he will adjust. Remember the song “ hello mudda , hello fadda “? I had to do that with my oldest and she met her lifelong friend and turns 40 this year

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I’d make him go… It’s better than sitting at home

Talk to him…ask him why…anxiety, to baby like for them, don’t have friends at said camp, bullying…

I wouldn’t make him go. Id figure something else out.

Has he been? How does he know eh wont like it? Id make him go, but thats just me.

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I’m an introvert and hated going to church camps. My mom loved going as a kid so we had to go every summer. I wouldn’t force him. It also kinda sounds like you are sending them to get them out of your hair so you can work. :woman_shrugging: Maybe ask HIM if there’s another camp he would like to go to instead.


Can he bring a friend with him?

You don’t have to send him somewhere he doesn’t want just to get him outside 🤷 if he doesn’t want to go, save the money and don’t make him go

Try to find a camp he would be interested in going to

I’m glad we have free summer school this summer for k-12

No. Search for other summer programs or something for him to do he’d enjoy

And don’t forget those camps usually have molesters he’ll no I would leave my kenniwick da alone

Why make him do something he doesnt want? Let him play video games. Its summer the world sucks right now. Friends arent all what their chopped up to be. If the kid wants a lazy summer and stays out of trouble what’s wrong with that?


Do you know why he hates it? I’m the kind to err on the side of caution and consider molestation, bullying, hazing and things like that when a kid doesn’t want to do something. Nowadays you have to. If it’s not that, then find out exactly why and compromise from there.


Compromise and do some camp some home

I wouldn’t send him. If you’re aware that he hates it and you make him go anyways he’s going to resent you for it. See if there is anything else he’d be interested in doing. Video games aren’t the worst thing in the world. I’d just tell him he can’t play if he doesn’t do chores.


No way would I force it on a child to go

Make him go part time and stay home part time

You’re the parent… send him, he’ll probably have lots of fun…