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RabbiHorowitz.com - Contemporary Parenting Questions
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Contemporary Parenting Questions

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Last updated on 10/28/08

Is my child ready to board?

Whether for camp, school, or a special interest program, most kids spend a significant amount of time away from home. In today’s world with cell phones, long distance calling cards, and e-mail, it is much less frightening to send a child hundreds or thousands of miles away from home. Parents, however, must evaluate their decision carefully. Although it may be tempting to send a child to a prestigious school halfway across the country, the harm it can cause might outweigh its benefits. If a child is forced to board or attend sleep away camp, they are likely to suffer terribly from homesickness and will be unable to enjoy what the program has to offer. On the other hand, even a child eager to spend time away from home can be a candidate for disaster. Test your child’s ability to spend time away from home by arranging overnights and weekends at relatives and friend’s houses. If possible, arrange for a short trial period at the program your child wishes to attend. Although these steps cannot prevent the troubles that your child may be faced with, they can help you determine if your child is ready to spend time away from home.

In the Jewish Community

Children in the Jewish Community have many opportunities to attend programs far from home. Kids as young as seven years old can be sent to sleep away camps from four to eight weeks and those in small towns without Jewish Schools often board in larger cities. Some kids board for high school because they dislike or were denied admission to the schools in their area. In addition, many post high school aged boys and girls opt to spend a year or more over five thousand miles from the United States at Yeshiva or Seminary in Israel. Although the benefits of these programs are incalculable, parents must carefully evaluate their child for readiness to spend time away from home. In addition to typical homesickness, Jewish teens in Israel face the challenges of a low drinking age and minimal supervision. Temptations are readily available, and there is no one to stop them. Parents and schools should work together to determine if a child is ready to spend time away from home.

Use the following links to learn how to evaluate your child for readiness to spend time away from home. Find information about Jewish schools and see the benefits of camp.

Frequently Asked Links

Why do some kids prefer to attend sleep away camps?

What are some of the benefits of camp?

At what age are kids ready to go to sleep away camp?

Is my child ready for camp?

How can I determine my child’s readiness to spend a year abroad? more

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Why do some kids get into trouble while in Israel?

What do teenagers say about spending a year abroad?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

How can I help my child prepare to spend time away from home?

How can my child deal with homesickness? more

What is the best way for me to stay involved in my child's school activities?

Related Articles

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Teary and tantrum-filled goodbyes are common with separation anxiety, which is a perfectly normal part of childhood development.

Resources

School Information for the Jewish Community

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Yeshiva Placement Resources

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Seminary Information

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