Camp is Essential to Child Development

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I encourage you to read an article entitled: Reasons today’s kids are bored at school, feel entitled, have little patience and few real friends. By Victoria Prooday of the Multidisciplinary Clinic in Toronto, Canada.  You can find it at http://deeprootsathome.com/kids-bored-entitled/.  This article screams many things but one would be the essential value of a Lake Ann Camp experience.  Allow me to summarize her thoughts and to share a few of my own:

 

Technology:

Using technology as a “free babysitting service” is, in fact, not free at all.  The payment is waiting for you just around the corner.  We pay with our kid’s nervous systems, with their attention, and with their ability for delayed gratification.  Compared to virtual reality, everyday life is boring… technology also disconnects us emotionally from our children and our families.  Parental emotional availability is the main nutrient for a child’s brain.

 

Kids get everything the moment they want it:

“I’m hungry!!”, “In a sec I will stop at the drive-thru”, “I’m Thirsty”, “Here is a vending machine.” “I’m bored!”. “Use my phone!”  The ability to delay gratification is one of the key factors for future success.  We have best intentions to make children happy but unfortunately we make them happy at the moment but miserable long term.  To be able to delay gratification means to be able to function under stress.

 

Kids rule the world:

“My son doesn’t like vegetables.” “She doesn’t like going to bed early.”  “He doesn’t like to eat breakfast.” “She doesn’t like toys, but she is very good at her iPad.”  This is what I hear from parents all the time.  Since when do children dictate to us how to parent them?  If we leave it all up to them, all they are going to do is eat macaroni and cheese and bagels with cream cheese, watch TV, play on their tablets, and never go to bed… the concept of “need to do” is absent.  Unfortunately, in order to achieve our goals in our lives, we have to do what’s necessary, which may not always be what we want to do.

 

Endless fun:

We have created an artificial fun world for our children.  There are no dull moments.  The moment it becomes quiet, we run to entertain them again, because otherwise, we feel that we are not doing our parenting duty.  We live in two separate worlds.  They have their “fun” world, and we have our “work” world.  Why aren’t children helping us in the kitchen or with laundry?  Why don’t they tidy up their toys? This is basic monotonous work that trains the brain to be workable and function under “boredom”, which is the same “muscle” that is required to be eventually teachable at school… because the workable “muscle” is not getting trained through endless fun, it gets trained through work.

 

Limited social interaction:

We are all busy, so we give our kids gadgets to make them “busy” too.  Kids used to play outside, where, in unstructured natural environments, they learned and practiced their social skills.   Unfortunately, technology replaced the outdoor time.  Also, technology made parents less available to socially interact with their kids… the baby sitting gadget is not equipped to help kids develop social skills.  The brain is like a muscle that is trainable and re-trainable.  If you want your child to be able to bike, you teach him about biking skills.  If you want your child to be able to wait, you need to teach him patience.  If you want your child to socialize, you need to teach him social skills.  The same applies to all other skills.  There is no difference!

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