I was at the Tri-State Camp Conference about a month ago and I remember a really great session that spoke about parenting and how the current age of parent is creating children who are competitive, overburdened, and worn out. Parents, instead of giving their children more quality experiences, are more concerned with quantity. It’s a parenting competition to “one-up” the mother around the corner. Today I read a great New York Times article by Michael Thompson titled “Why Camp Counselors Can Out-Parent Parents” and I was again shocked at the new age of parenting. I was especially struck by this quote,
“As a so-called “parenting expert,” I am struck by how often American parents think that the answer to their parenting dilemmas is for them to do more, or better, or to do something differently. I disagree. I often believe parents should do less, and should sometimes take themselves out of the picture, especially in the summer, when it’s easy to stop battling and turn some of the toughest parenting challenges over to 20- and 21-year-olds who can perform magic with their children.”
Who would have ever thought that a young adult would have, sometimes, an even greater impact on a child than a parent! Camp counselors work through long, tough hours, often with not so great pay, and deal with a variety of hyperactive, emotional children. Yet though all these hardships, in one summer can change a child’s life! Not only do these camp counselors teach the great activities offered at camp, they also teach children responsibility, organization, and character. Going to camp and spending the summer learning new life skills can be the best thing you can do for a child. Stop signing them up for quantity, and choose quality.