Which part of your child are you prepared to ignore?
You are spending all of your days shuttling your kids, most likely in the mini van, loaded with after school snacks. You have researched the best schools, the best after school programs, the best tutors, the best of everything. Everything during the school year is scheduled to the millisecond. But when the summer comes, you say… “my kids work so hard all year, I just want to let them do nothing during the summer, whatever they want!”
There is most certainly something to be said about slowing the organized programming. But nothing??
In otherwords, you are making a conscious decision to ignore the development of 25% of your child’s life? That’s like saying, I will take you to the doctor and he/she can look at everything below your neck. But above the neck? Not important. We don’t need to pay attention to ALL of you!
So Summer….. One fourth of your child’s learning, growing and developing occurs during those lovely 3 months from June 21 through September 21. Every year. No matter what. And for so many, what happens during the summer is what makes dreams, desires, and ambitions come true. Children learn differently during the summer. At sleepaway camp, they get the opportunity to make new friends without the assistance of the hovering parents, they learn independence (without the assistance of hovering parents), they learn to make their bed (without the assistance of the hovering…..), they learn to speak on behalf of themselves (without the assistance of the…) , they learn new skills from sports to photography to making a napkin holder (yes, more advanced as they get older). They learn how to succeed, how to fail and how to get back up, all on their own. Mommy and Daddy are not there to wipe away the tears, kiss the boo-boos and pamper them to incapacity.
Summer experiences, whether for two weeks or for a typical full summer program of 7 weeks, will change the dynamic of the entire family, and always for the better as long as you get the right kind of advice on finding the best summer experience for your child, your family and your particular needs. Good for the child, great for the parents, and incredible for the younger sibling who is still too little to go away. For a short period of time, their voice will be heard!
They say “live 10 for 2” for a reason. Once you have been bitten by the summer camp bug, and I don’t mean the mosquito, it is a part of your soul forever. I have been in the summer camp industry for decades and it is a happy, transformative place to be. Let your kids do nothing in nature…. not on the couch!