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Attachment parenting and summer camp - Page 6

post #101 of 151
Quote:
My daughter and I both disagree with the policy. My questions was not whether people here agree or disagree. My question was whether this felt unnatural. And, to me, not talking to her for 10 days feels so unnatural.
Those are pretty much the same thing, IMO.

Yes, it will feel unusual to not talk to her for 10 days. But I disagree with the use of "unnatural", which I think has a pejorative context.

It is perfectly natural for children to become increasingly independent from their parents as they get older.

Ten days of summer camp at age 11 - Ten weeks at an out of state college at age 18.

I love my daughter every bit as much as you love yours. That I sent her to summer camp for a week every summer and wasn't able to talk to her by phone does not mean I love her one iota less or that I didn't worry about her, or that our relationship isn't natural, or that our bond has been remotely lessened by the experience.

You seem deeply distressed at the prospect of her attending this camp, and it's clear your daughter has picked up on that. I wonder if it's such a good idea to attend now...she might spend the whole week worrying about you worrying about her and not have much fun.
post #102 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post

You seem deeply distressed at the prospect of her attending this camp, and it's clear your daughter has picked up on that. I wonder if it's such a good idea to attend now...she might spend the whole week worrying about you worrying about her and not have much fun.
Yes. That's what I was trying to say, but not doing it well, in my post. At a certain point I think that we tip the balance with our own needs, and kids pick up on it. A general comment-not saying op you're necessarily doing this, although the post by your dd makes me wonder a bit. Maybe just something to think about?
post #103 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thyra View Post
I sincerely hope that the camp director was being sarcastic when she said this!!!! (the part about counselors love when kids don't have medication - I always hated that!)
Yes, they were being sarcastic.
post #104 of 151
Didn't read every post, so maybe this was covered already, but can't you send her to camp with a cell phone, maybe one of those pay-as-you-go types, and have her call home each night (every other night/whatever she wants) after their dinnertime, or something?
post #105 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
I am desperate for somebody to agree with me. Nobody agreed with me in another thread so I am starting this one.

Isn't it unnatural for a camp that accepts 7-year-olds to prohibit the 7-year-old and the parent to talk to each other by telephone for 10 days?

My daughter is not 7, she is 11. And she found this most wonderful perfect horseback riding camp. We visited it, we loved it, but they have a policy against telephone contact with a parent. They say it makes children more homesick. And, the logistics of letting 100 kids call their parents every day would be nightmarish.

I don't want to talk to her for hours, I just want to hear her every day say, I am fine mom, I am happy, a little homesick, but I had a great time today kayaking. Love you, bye.

The kids are allowed to write letters and you can write letters to them. We already put the deposit down and my daughter is dying to go, so I am going to let her go.

It just feels so unnatural, not to be able to talk to your own child. I thought people here, who nurse their children and practice attachment parenting, and are SAHM (I am a working mom), would understand how I feel. I am so dying to think that something horrible would happen and I couldn't be there for my only child.

Help, I need your comments even if you disagree with me.


Haven't read other replies, but I completely agree with you.

There is something *not right* with not allowing the child to call home.

Wasn't there a scary movie or something like this? No, seriously. There was a movie I saw where the kids were treated really horrible and they weren't allowed to phone home. They wrote letters asking for help, but the camp counselors never mailed them. I don't know...but I know I saw it before.

What if she had a problem with a counselor--picking on her or whatever--and they wouldn't let her phone home, even for an emergency? What if a boy was messing with her and you were the only one she trusted to talk to? The list is endless.

The movie aside, I just do not think it's a good idea. At all. No way. Nope. I would never be away from my kid and w/o communication. Either arm your daughter with a cell phone or keep her home. (Honestly, I would keep her home and let her "hate" me for how ever long she needed to!). I'm having an anxiety attack thinking about not being allowed to see/talk to my kid for x-amount of days.
post #106 of 151
MayBaby, camps that have a no phone policy are also willing to allow contact with the parents when there is an emergency.

Honestly I am surprised by the number of people here who think it is unnatural for someone to not talk to their parent for ten days. You don't have to talk to your parents every single day to love them, or to miss them when your away from them. I do think it's become a bit of a problem in our society. I can understand that a 7 year old may very well not be ready, but once you get to be a teen most are ready and capable of being away from their parents and not having phone contact every night before bed with out any ill effects. If it were unnatural, then the children wouldn't naturally reach a point where they were able or even desired such an experience. Since they do eventually reach that point, unless there is an attachment issue, it is natural.
post #107 of 151
Are there any camps that run shorter programs in your area? Like a five day camp? Or if horses are the main focus - what about a horse day camp program? What have you decided, OP?
post #108 of 151
Hi Ruth, it sounds like you and your daughter have a wonderful relationship. I chuckled when you wrote

"We are very attached to our daughter and her thoughts at the present is never to live anywhere than with us. I KNOW that will not happen. "You are going to college with me to make sure I don't drink, right mom"? I chuckle when she says that because she is much to independent to really mean that she is taking me with her to college when she turns 18.
I don't want to nurse her forever (although for a while there, I thought she would.)"

I think it is so great that you guys are able to discuss things. She wants to go to this fabulous camp, you want her to go, and she is going to go - but a no phone policy, sounds so foreign to your relationship, that it is hard to get your head around it.

I really hope you guys are able to update us after the camp and let us know how it all went. Never having been to camp before I asked a few people the other day if they had gone (they are now in there early twenties). They had all gone, all had a great time, and they all had access to a phone during certain time frames each evening if they wanted to use it. These camps would have been in British Columbia, Canada. Just thought it was interesting.

Lesley
post #109 of 151
I wonder if some of us responding to this thread are just old-fashioned. My parents were born in the 1930's, so when they were growing up, telephone contact, particularly with someone far away, was special and unusual. When I was growing up, they primarily communicated with their own parents by mail, calling them on the telephone only rarely.

When I went camping with the Girl Scouts in the early 1980's, it wouldn't even have occurred to us to call our parents on the telephone. When we were away from our parents, we were used to being out of contact with them.

When I went to England with the Girl Scouts at 15 (in 1985), I didn't call them once during the entire three weeks I was gone, and they didn't expect me to. I think some of the other girls did call their parents, because I remember feeding coins into a pay phone to keep someone's call going!

I left my parents' house more than 20 years ago, and since then, have normally spoken with my parents on the phone every 2-6 weeks.

The summer camp phenomenon in the USA, with all of its assorted traditions, has been around for much longer than regular telephone contact has been an expected part of life. I imagine that one of the reasons phone contact during camp isn't the norm is for historical reasons, which have now become traditions that are perceived as "normal" and "natural" by people who are part of the camp world.
post #110 of 151
I thonk its great that you are letting your daughter go despite your reservations about the no contact. You obviously have her best interests at heart instead of your own, and thats really hard to do.

It does not seem unnatural,to me, to not have contact with my son when he goes to camp. I feel confident in his, and the camp's, ability to contact me if there is a problem.

I say that not to imply that your worry is somehow wrong or bad, but to say that everyone is different and what may seem unnatural to some may be perfectly accepatable to others. To imply otherwise is imo, judgmental.

My ds has gone to camp since he was 8, which according to many people here is entirely too young and he can't possibly be loved or cared for by me because I can go three weeks without talking to him. I could go three weeks without talking to my husband, too... none of it has to do with teaching independence. Its just part of an experience that ds has chosen to be a part of. thats ok with me.

While it may not seem right or "natural" to some, its wrong to assume that those that are fine with it are somehow not normal and don't have good, strong relationships with their children or spouses. Different strokes for different folks....some kids are ready for camp at 7.. some are never ready.. nobody is right or wrong, you know?
post #111 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
Haven't read other replies, but I completely agree with you.

There is something *not right* with not allowing the child to call home.

Wasn't there a scary movie or something like this? No, seriously. There was a movie I saw where the kids were treated really horrible and they weren't allowed to phone home. They wrote letters asking for help, but the camp counselors never mailed them. I don't know...but I know I saw it before.

What if she had a problem with a counselor--picking on her or whatever--and they wouldn't let her phone home, even for an emergency? What if a boy was messing with her and you were the only one she trusted to talk to? The list is endless.

The movie aside, I just do not think it's a good idea. At all. No way. Nope. I would never be away from my kid and w/o communication. Either arm your daughter with a cell phone or keep her home. (Honestly, I would keep her home and let her "hate" me for how ever long she needed to!). I'm having an anxiety attack thinking about not being allowed to see/talk to my kid for x-amount of days.
Murdering all the campers is bad for business, honest.
post #112 of 151
I have been watching this thread with great interest. My 7 year old is going to Girl Scout sleep away camp for 7 days this summer (she will be almost 8 when she goes). But her camp is for girls who finished first or second grade this school year.

I would never, ever have suggested this camp to her, but she read about it herself in the Girl Scout camp brochure (it's the same brochure that has the day camps in it, which is what I was looking at LOL!!!). Ever since then, she has been really passionate about going. I had deep reservations at first. She is a picky eater, has never been particularly self sufficient and she has sensory issues. But for some reason this camp has become very important to her.

So I pointed out to her some issues she might encounter (taking care of her own hair, food she is unfamiliar with) and rather than being daunted, she took these as challenges. She did research on what types of food would be at camp (talked to older scouts who had been to this camp) and has pushed herself to try new foods. She has been determined to learn to do things for herself that she has always been content previously for me to do for her. She made a daily journal on the computer that she printed out and decorated so that she would be able to write down her thoughts and experiences to share with us when she gets home. Honestly, I am enormously proud of how much she has grown already just at the prospect of wanting to go to this camp.

All the while I had my reservations, but ultimately it came down to this, which a PP said very well.

Quote:
I wanted to give her the gift of feeling believed in by me.
This. For me to say to her, I don't think you can do this thing that is very important to you because you are not capable of handling it (when clearly SHE does think she is capable of it), well I can't imagine the emotional devastation she would feel. And ultimately, I decided it was much better for her to try this and have even a not necessarily spectacular experience than for me to send her the message that this is not something that she is capable of.
post #113 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by skueppers View Post
I wonder if some of us responding to this thread are just old-fashioned. My parents were born in the 1930's, so when they were growing up, telephone contact, particularly with someone far away, was special and unusual. When I was growing up, they primarily communicated with their own parents by mail, calling them on the telephone only rarely.

When I went camping with the Girl Scouts in the early 1980's, it wouldn't even have occurred to us to call our parents on the telephone. When we were away from our parents, we were used to being out of contact with them.

When I went to England with the Girl Scouts at 15 (in 1985), I didn't call them once during the entire three weeks I was gone, and they didn't expect me to. I think some of the other girls did call their parents, because I remember feeding coins into a pay phone to keep someone's call going!

I left my parents' house more than 20 years ago, and since then, have normally spoken with my parents on the phone every 2-6 weeks.

The summer camp phenomenon in the USA, with all of its assorted traditions, has been around for much longer than regular telephone contact has been an expected part of life. I imagine that one of the reasons phone contact during camp isn't the norm is for historical reasons, which have now become traditions that are perceived as "normal" and "natural" by people who are part of the camp world.
I was thinking this too-- my parents are rather younger than yours, but I'm only six years younger than you are. It may or may not be "unreasonable" to disallow campers from calling home, but "unnatural" isn't the right word-- to me, the technology that allows cheap and frequent phone contact is what is unnatural, strictly speaking!
post #114 of 151
p.s. egoldber I just saw your location. If the camp happens to be Potomac Woods, I went there when I was seven-almost-eight for a week-- no phone calls home-- and when my co-sleeping baby-wearing parents picked me up, the first thing I said to them was, "Hi! Can I stay another week?"
post #115 of 151
Going back to read the whole thread, but wanted to post while my toddler was quiet.

I went to sleep away camp as a child, and I'm soooo glad phone contact was not allowed.

There were way too many kids to manage it, we all wanted to call home, and it made the letters so much more special.
post #116 of 151
Quote:
If the camp happens to be Potomac Woods, I went there when I was seven-almost-eight for a week-- no phone calls home-- and when my co-sleeping baby-wearing par
Oh goodness it IS Potomac Woods! How funny!!!!
post #117 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum View Post
Wow, I'm so surprised that a no-phone policy is normal.


I'm with you, even if I am a lone voice. I think it is most odd to deny kids the use of a phone. And I'm wondering how that works anyway in this day and age of cellphones.

My kids have no interest in going away to camps, and I have no interest in sending them. Our summers are spent together, and camp is just not part of my cultural expectation for them. But if and when they decide to go, I'd expect them to take a phone and be allowed to call home if they wished to. Nothing to do with what I want as a parent, but I do think that they should be allowed that contact if they wish.

But if your dd is OK with it, I guess it's not a problem right now. In principle, though, I"m with you!

I wholeheartedly agree with this post. Here in Norway camp is not a part of most kids summer. MAYBE some kids go to scoutcamp or something, but that last maybe 5-6 days at the most, and the kids are most likely teens. Sending a 7 YO away for weeks? Even months?? I have never even heard of that here in Norway.

Our summers are spent together, too. I can`t even imagine why I would want to send my son to camp for weeks on end. They spend so much time in school during the schoolyear, so sending him away for most of summer is not even an option. And even though I`m seen as pretty odd around here, AP-mama and all that hippiestuff I do , I would think that every single parent I know here in Norway would agree with me on this.

And I am so, sooo agreeing with Britishmum about being able to call, when they are away. I would not at all accept sending him to a place where he wasn`t allowed to call if he wanted to talk to me. No way.
post #118 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum View Post

I'm with you, even if I am a lone voice. I think it is most odd to deny kids the use of a phone. And I'm wondering how that works anyway in this day and age of cellphones.

In my experience, the way this happens is that the camp requests that children do not bring electronic equipment from home to camp. This includes electronic hand held games, pagers and cell phones. I personally think it's more of a problem that we expect our children to have access to these electronic communication devices, while presumably they are having a wonderful, nature based camp experience. Am I the only one who sees the disconnect here?
post #119 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by egoldber View Post
Oh goodness it IS Potomac Woods! How funny!!!!
Well, it was very nice in 1984, I can tell you that much!
post #120 of 151
At my ds's camp, theres no cell phone reception.

His camp DOES allow parents to call around dinner time. The just don't encourage it..
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