Parents, are you looking at your just-returned-from-camp child and wondering, “Who is this kid, and what happened to mine?”
No, the camp didn’t send you back the wrong child–or an alien. What you are probably noticing is the lingering effects of a summer spent learning to be more independent, self-relient, polite, and tolerant.
Joanne Kates, of Camp Arowhon in Algonquin Park, Ontario, offers some great insights in this article from Toronto’s Globe and Mail: http://bit.ly/NRxFsF.
That child who has come home from camp and is doing chores without being nagged, keeping her room neat, and chatting with the family at dinnertime has benefited from a summer of being encouraged to be confident, independent, and resourceful.
But it’s pretty easy for kids–and parents–to slip back into the old dependent rhythms. You can help keep your child on the right path by fostering independence through natural consequences.
He didn’t set the table? Don’t serve dinner.
She forgot her lunch or her flute? Don’t deliver them to school.
Joanne says try being a little more like a camp counselor, and see if your new and improved child sticks around for the school year!