10 Reasons to Send Your Child to Summer Camp

summer-camp3I’ll never forget the first time that my husband and I suggested to our kids that they go away to a summer camp for a week.  As parents, we had discussed the benefits of a good summer camp program and spoke with many of our friends who recommended several camps around the country.  We took great pride in presenting the idea with enthusiasm to our kids.  Their response shocked us; instead of being excited they were mortified.  By their reaction, you would have thought that we were sending them away to a chain gang to be beaten and tortured.

So we gave them a year to get used to the idea and talk to some of their friends who already went to summer camp and by the next year they were a bit more open to the idea but still openly told us that we were “abandoning” them.  Fast forward to the day we picked them up from the summer camp and the unanimous reaction was “how come we only came for a week, I want to come for a month!”

Lesson learned:  Sometimes parents do know best.  So here are ten good reasons to send your child away to a summer camp.

  1. Provides your child with new experiences, people, ideas, and environments for your child without out your parental influence.
  2. Expands the friends that your child hangs out with over the summer so that there are hopefully new and healthy friendships being added.
  3. For your child at camp, there are no parents to nag, ask to clean rooms, do chores, etc…
  4. Improves your child’s social skills as they will need to get along with new people in new environments without your input.
  5. Gives your child a break from you and you a break from them.  If you are fighting with your child, this break is long overdue.
  6. Invites new things to talk about so you can get out of the rut of the same conversations over and over.
  7. Keeps your child from getting into trouble at home and watching too much TV or playing too many video games.
  8. There are many camps which specialize in one area of interest such as surfing, horseback riding, space project, dance, photography, science, hiking, rock climbing and many more.  This provides an opportunity for your child to get some advance skills in an area of interest which may even lead to a profession someday.
  9. The camp puts your child on a schedule that is dictated by them and not you; the new routine which will be met with resistance at first will later become a source of comfort.
  10. No electronics!  This is a bonus for your electronic addicted kid.

With all this in mind, here is a list of some of the summer camps available in the Orlando area:

My personal favorite camps:

 

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

 

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How to Stop a Child from Being Bossy

Marcia has many good suggestions on stopping a child from being bossy with their siblings, other friends and sadly even with you.  It is worth a few minutes of your time.

 

http://www.gonannies.com/blog/2013/how-to-stop-a-child-from-being-bossy/

Struggling with Parenting? Begin with You

sad-black-woman-378x329Parenting is hard work.  At times it can be overwhelming, lonely, exhausting, discouraging, exciting, joyful, rewarding, encouraging, and fun within just a few short minutes.  The wide range of emotions  you feel from excitement over watching your child finally ride a bike without training wheels to paralyzing fear as they ride that bike straight into an on-coming car is enough to drive you into some unhealthy potato-chip-eating-addiction.  Yet despite the stress, you couldn’t imagine your life without your kids and you try hard to be the very best parent.

So you read lots of parenting books, talk to friends, and listen to experts on how to be a better parent.  But how much time have you invested in understanding your natural parenting style?  Yes, how you were raised has a lot to do with how you parent both good and bad, but you are also born with a personality style that is directly comparable to your parenting style.  When you understand your personality and parenting style (and perhaps more importantly, your spouse’s style), you will naturally be a better parent.

Active.  It is easy to tell if you are an active parent just by looking at your family calendar.  Is it full of too many things to do with not enough time?  Do you find that when you have some down time as a family, you want to go and do something rather than just sit at home?  As an active parent, your favorite questions will be centered around the word “Who”.  Who else is going? Who are your friends?  Who do you want to be?  Active parents have a lot of energy, are exciting to be around, and adventurous but they usually over commit or don’t follow through with promises.

Bookkeeper.  Imagine an invisible ledger which details all of the gifts, grades, thank-you notes, kind acts, punishments, harsh words, phone calls, and hugs for each child.  Now imagine trying to keep that ledger in balance so that one child is not favored over another, so gifts are equally divided, and punishment is equally distributed.  This is the bookkeeper parent who can do such a task in their head.  As a bookkeeper parent, your favorite questions will be centered around the word “How”.  How are you going to do that?  How do you feel?  How did you get that done?  Bookkeeper parents are very fair, diplomatic, and loyal but can easily get their feelings hurt in the process of parenting.

Cautious.  Danger lurks behind every corner which is precisely why a cautious parent is so careful about what they say, do or act because you would never want to be irresponsible about anything in front of your child.  Setting a proper example for your child in behavior, thought, and control of emotions is important to you.  As a cautious parent, your favorite questions will be centered around the word “Why”.  Why did you do that?  Why didn’t you finish that?  Why aren’t you doing it this way?  Cautious parents are detail oriented, analytical, and perfectionists but when pushed they can become irrationally moody and over explain.

Direct.  There is no beating around the bush with a direct parent; whatever they are thinking will be stated in a short period of time and not always at the most opportune moments.  There is no question as to who is in charge if you are a direct parent, you are and your child knows it.  As a direct parent, your favorite questions will be centered around the word “What”.  What are you doing?  What are you trying to accomplish? What is your point?  Direct parents are goal oriented, focused, and motivating but they can easily overpower a child and miss an opportunity for tenderness.

Knowing your style of parenting compared to your spouse’s style might just be the life-saver you need in preparation for your next parenting argument.  All of these styles have good, bad and ugly elements as one style is not better than another.  Rather, a child does well when all styles are represented and a more balanced approached to parenting is taken.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

Related Articles:

Struggling with Parenting? Active Parents are Fun

Struggling with Parenting? Bookkeeper Parents are Fair

Struggling with Parenting?  Cautious Parents are Aware

Struggling with Parenting?  Direct Parents are Motivating

Final Version of DSM-V

dsm5-apaHere is the final version of the DSM-V which changes the diagnosis of Aspergers to a form of Autism and does not include SPD, Sensory Processing Disorder.  This is a unfortuante lack of inclusion as SPD is diagnosed in occupational therapy circles but not in psychological circles and many therapists are not familiar with the difference between Aspergers and SPD.

Some children have sensory sensitivity with the way food tastes, strong smells, too tight hugs, tags on clothes, or overstimulation visually.  For instance, if a child is in a classroom where every wall space is littered with too much stuff, they may have a hard time with distractibility or may act out after prolonged periods of time in the visually over-stimulated room.  This behavior is often seen as ADHD or Aspergers when it is really SPD where too much information is taken in by the brain without the proper time to assimilate all of the information.  This is not a “slow” child, rather the child is unable to filter out unnecessary information as others unconsciously do.

Sadly, because the DSM-V does not include SPD, many child will continue to be misdiagnosed and most likely unnecessarily medicated.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/12/02/final-dsm-5-approved-by-american-psychiatric-association/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

Are We There Yet?

My husband and I just drove from our home in Orlando to the mountains of North Carolina and back in one weekend to drop off our three kids at summer camp.  The kids were overly anxious to spend 2 weeks away from home, responsibilities, chores, each other, random work, and the list of books we gave them to read for the summer, so the number one question asked on the trip is…you guessed it…”Are we there yet?”  Sadly, as our kids are often a reflection of both the good and bad in ourselves, I even caught myself secretly asking the same question by looking at the GPS estimated time of arrival more times than I can count and trying to beat the estimated arrival time.

And as annoying as the question gets from our kids, it is even more annoying when we badger ourselves with the same question.  The origin of the question stems from a lack of systematic discipline in our lives to patiently wait and work hard for our goals.  Instead we have a tendency to want whatever we want in the moment we want it without having to wait or work hard.  Marketers know this desire and prey on it daily with advertisements that claim to give you what you want without working hard.  Yet, obtaining goals quickly often causes them to fade just as quickly.  We don’t need to look far to see evidence of that, just ask yourself what happened to the one hit wonders of the ‘80’s or the fad diets of the ‘90’s.

Instead of focusing on “Are we there yet”, an alternative is to look at what you can learn from the moment to add value to your life while trying to obtain a goal.  I have learned three valuable lessons from the lives of my children about enjoying the ride on the way to the destination.

Get the ants out of your pants.  Let’s face it; God has gifted some people with incredible energy, not the kind of energy mimicked by drinking too much caffeine, but mounds and mounds of limitless energy.  We all have someone in our lives like this, they have two speeds: go, and I mean go fast, and stop; which is usually reserved only for sleep.  They live off of little sleep and seem to get more things done in one day then several people can do in one week.  One of the strengths, and simultaneously one of the drawbacks, of this energy is a constant desire to get things done now.  It is a strength because it propels and motivates the person to continue working, but it is a drawback because some things just require more time, like driving from Orlando to North Carolina.  So what do you do?  Get the ants out of your pants.  Use their antsy behavior as a signal to stop and allow them to run around for a while.  When we get antsy about not having arrived at a goal yet, we should stop and channel that energy into a different activity for a while.  That way when we return to focusing on the goal, our energy level will be renewed.

Stop and smell the roses.  Just as God has gifted some people with incredible energy, He has also gifted some people with the ability to see the big picture and savor the moment they are in.  These people tend to be more methodical in nature and value each step as a milestone wanting to mark the moments along the way.  They see things that others often miss in the pursuit of a goal and tend to work more slowly and carefully.  Their strength is in carefully plodding, but their weakness is sometimes never reaching their goal.  So what do you do? Stop and smell the roses.  Use their desire to enjoy the ride as a reminder that our path through life is more  about the journey than the destination.  Let them mark their moments, let them stop along the way because in the end they will be the ones who will remember the journey.

Save the drama for your mama.  Then there is the one who seems to create something out of absolutely nothing.  Yes, God has gifted even them with an ability to see just how big life can be lived and how much fun everything can be.  They see every road detour is a chance to get lost or a chance to find a lost friend, every car accident means someone died or someone miraculously lived, every person who waves at them in the car as a best friend or a creep.  There is no middle ground; life is either very large or very small.  So what do you do?  Save the drama for your mama.  Life does not have to be a soap opera in which we are all players, but learning to see the humor in life can be very therapeutic.  Let them have their stage, let them entertain the people in the rest area for a while, after all, you will most likely never see those people again.

So next time you have the urge to ask “Are we there yet?” remember instead to “get the ants out of your pants”, “stop and smell the roses”, and “save the drama for your mama”.  Your ride will be much more enjoyable.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.