My 10-year-old son doesn't want to go to day camp or overnight summer camp alone. He's gone with a friend before, but he doesn't have anyone to go with this year. Should I encourage him to attend anyway?
Have some casual, non-pressured discussions with your son about why he doesn't want to go to camp. Asking him why he doesn't want to go back to the overnight camp without a buddy. Don't force him to attend a camp, but ask him how he'd like to spend the rest of his summer vacation as a beginning point in these discussions. Talk with some of his friends' parents and see what their kids are up to this summer. Perhaps you can still plan some special family times.
He's probably saying "no" to camp because he's fearful or anxious about the experience. Finding out what those fears and anxieties are will tell you more about your son's emotional life, his current concerns, and how to give him the understanding and support that he needs.