Two Great Articles On Camp From The NY Times

Two great articles were published on the New York Times Blog Network on Summer Camp! You can check them both out here:

The Camp Counselor vs. The Intern

By DAN FLESHLER

In an act of quiet rebellion, my daughter will spend this summer as a counselor at a sleep-away camp in the Adirondacks. As rebellions go, this one is admittedly very tame. But she is resisting considerable pressure to join the throngs of anxious fellow collegians (she’s finishing her junior year) who will pad their résumés with summer internships in corporations, charities, law firms and other employers that, according to conventional wisdom, offer better preparation for the brutal economy than a summer camp.

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Why Camp Counselors Can Out-Parent Parents

By MICHAEL THOMPSON

Are you having trouble getting your 9-year-old daughter to make her bed every day? How about your 11-year-old son? Does he get up in the morning and run down to the dining room to set the breakfast table for the family? And after breakfast, does he clear the dishes and wipe down the table? He doesn’t? Sorry to hear that. (Neither did mine.)

And while I’m at it, may I ask about video games? Texting? Do your children get angry and stubborn when you ask them to shut off their electronics at dinner time or when it is time for bed? Lots of parents have told me that the turn-off-the-video-games confrontations can be tougher to handle than the turn-off-the-TV moments.

Whether the issue is chores or screens, at times like these we question our own parenting: have we spoiled our children? Do they lack discipline … or do we? Should we emulate the focus of the tiger moms? Why can’t we raise our bon bébés with the natural authority of French parents? Why is it that our children, by the age of 8 or 9, have tired of our commands and our advice? We must look ourselves in the mirror and ask: What should we be doing differently? Time to buy more parenting books!

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.

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