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Although it may at first seem counter-intuitive, often the best thing we as parents can provide for our children is an enriching experience without us. At a recent Ontario Camping Association event, social worker and camp professional Joe Rich summed up what NWL families have been saying for close to 50 years- the answer to many parenting questions is camp!
From Joe’s social work practice, facilitating parenting groups, work in television, radio and print media talking about issues facing today’s parent he compiled the top seven questions facing today’s families-
1- How can I stop being a helicopter parent and give my kids a safe way to grow, to become more resilient, to experiment with the idea that “failure is the new success” and to make mistakes and learn from them?
2-How can I get my kids off the couch?
3- What can I do to fight obesity in children in my own family and to avoid “making my kids crazy” about diet and exercise?
4- How can I increase my kids understanding that Facebook friends aren’t friends?
5- How can I help my kids have a break from travelling between two homes every week all year in this co-parenting divorce agreement?
6- I’m a single parent and I’m going nuts. I need a break. Any suggestions?
7- How do I limit screen time in my family all day long during holidays and the summer break?
Joe’s answer to each of these questions? Send them to camp! Summer camps, specialty camps, education camps, overnight camps, day camps, travel camps, canoe tripping camps,……. camps.
Camp has never been more important in child development than it is today. With each newer, “smarter”, virtual device we (by definition) get farther and farther from authenticity. While technology undoubtedly plays a tremendously important role in our lives, so too should empowering real-life experiences.