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Attachment parenting and summer camp - Page 3

post #41 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Phoebe View Post
Yes, I think the kids cry more when they talk to their parents. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. They ARE away from their parents. That IS a little bit sad. Distracting kids from being sad isn't what we're all about.
Such wise words! ITA.
post #42 of 151
I realized that in my original response, I didn't actually answer your question.

I don't think it's strange for a camp to have a "no routine calls home" policy.

But I also have trouble imagining a 7-year-old deciding to go to such a camp, particularly if they didn't have an older sibling already at the camp.

The way I think all of this relates to Attachment Parenting is that as an attachment parent, I would not send my child to such a place if it wasn't their own choice to go. But I think I probably would let my 7-year-old go if she were able to convince me that she understood the situation and was passionate about going.

I think I would have been excited about such an opportunity by the time I was 8; I'm not so sure about 7.
post #43 of 151
So, today I had some thoughts about attachment parenting. I was thinking about Gordon Neufeld and some of his thoughts from his book "Hold on to your Kids." The idea that the attachment between parents and children should be the most important relationships in children's lives. So, I started thinking more about this whole camp situation. At first I thought, well 11 is older then 7 and maybe at that age it would be fine. But the more I think about it the more I am thinking about how 11 is a preteen and sending off an 11 year old to a camp for 10 days without access to her parent (unless of course in emergency or she is having a rough time) her compass point then becomes her peer and the camp counsellors. And is that necessarily such a good thing?

It sounds like many of the responders feel that it is; and that many of them have had wonderful camp experiences. I have never been to camp so I trust that it is for each person what they say. If my child wanted to go, I would also lead towards letting him go. But, it just seems that I can start to see some of the attachment concerns that could arise, especially at the age of 11 - as peers can become so all important.
post #44 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by intentionalmama View Post
So, today I had some thoughts about attachment parenting. I was thinking about Gordon Neufeld and some of his thoughts from his book "Hold on to your Kids." The idea that the attachment between parents and children should be the most important relationships in children's lives. So, I started thinking more about this whole camp situation. At first I thought, well 11 is older then 7 and maybe at that age it would be fine. But the more I think about it the more I am thinking about how 11 is a preteen and sending off an 11 year old to a camp for 10 days without access to her parent (unless of course in emergency or she is having a rough time) her compass point then becomes her peer and the camp counsellors. And is that necessarily such a good thing?.
See, for me, attachment parenting is all about giving your children a solid base from which they can go forth and flourish in the world. Its NOT about permanently binding your children to you so they don't ever go beyond you. While each child will reach different "fly away from the nest' milestones at different times, they all need to fly eventually. Otherwise, you have a terrible waste of potential and arrested development. We aren't meant to spend our entire lives at our parents sides, any more than we are meant to spend our entire lives drinking breast milk. I want my children to be secure in my love precisely so they have a base from which to turn to their peers and other adults. This is an essential part of their development. To not have them do this, when they are ready and with guidance, is to deny them an essential part of their humanity, IMHO. Be their north star, by all means. But let their compass points turn to peers, other adults, and eventually a spouse as they are ready.
post #45 of 151
A camp I went to at age 12 had the policy of no phone calls in the first three days, as they claimed it would have made the kids more homesick. While I was fine, 2 younger girls, a 7 and an 8-y-o were not. They sat in the dining hall crying, for three days (except when they were made to go to bed, when they still cried). It was awful. After those three days they called home, begged their parents to pick them up and their parents did. As I remember, the parents weren't impressed.

I think that reasoning, no calls because it will cause homesickness is stupid. I do know that if I had been homesick, talking to my mother, telling her about my day, would make me feel much better.
post #46 of 151
Firstly, I agree with your words "that attachment parenting is all about giving your children a solid base from which they can go forth and flourish in the world. Its NOT about permanently binding your children to you so they don't ever go beyond you." Evan and Anna's Mum. (sorry I don't know how to do the quote thing) I also believe that from a healthy attachment children will be able to go forth in the world and have a strong sense of self. I agree that it is not healthy for a child to always remained tied to a parent.

However, the teen years can be quite difficult for kids. Growing up, peers were everything to me. When I read "Hold on to your kids" while I admit some of it felt rather fear based to me, his concept that parents needed to be the main attachment to children (they have the children's best interest at heart) felt very strange. He felt that it seems strange, because most of us grew up with peers being the most important. He is not saying, and neither am I that this should be through out life. But, that teenage years are probably when they need us the most and when it is really important to try and keep those connections open and our attachments as lovingly strong as possible.

So for me the quandry comes in when I think about a child whose primary compass is their parent; goes to camp where now their compass are peers and strangers for 10 days. Does this affect the attachment? I guess when I think about it - the answer is probably no - the parent would be still be the most important - however - a new paradigm is introduced - at a time - when pressure to "be like everyone" else is very strong. Just makes me think.

Lesley
post #47 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by intentionalmama View Post
Firstly, I agree with your words "that attachment parenting is all about giving your children a solid base from which they can go forth and flourish in the world. Its NOT about permanently binding your children to you so they don't ever go beyond you." Evan and Anna's Mum. (sorry I don't know how to do the quote thing) I also believe that from a healthy attachment children will be able to go forth in the world and have a strong sense of self. I agree that it is not healthy for a child to always remained tied to a parent.

However, the teen years can be quite difficult for kids. Growing up, peers were everything to me. When I read "Hold on to your kids" while I admit some of it felt rather fear based to me, his concept that parents needed to be the main attachment to children (they have the children's best interest at heart) felt very strange. He felt that it seems strange, because most of us grew up with peers being the most important. He is not saying, and neither am I that this should be through out life. But, that teenage years are probably when they need us the most and when it is really important to try and keep those connections open and our attachments as lovingly strong as possible.

So for me the quandry comes in when I think about a child whose primary compass is their parent; goes to camp where now their compass are peers and strangers for 10 days. Does this affect the attachment? I guess when I think about it - the answer is probably no - the parent would be still be the most important - however - a new paradigm is introduced - at a time - when pressure to "be like everyone" else is very strong. Just makes me think.

Lesley
I think this is one reason to choose a camp carefully. But as I said upthread, for me that was so positive. Having a second group of friends gave me a secure base from which to resist some pressure during the school year. I also developed a really different self-image; during the year I wasn't really good enough for athletic teams, etc., but at camp I came to appreciate myself as a swimmer and canoeist.

But that's kind of an argument for camp and not about phone calls. I guess for me attachment is not about daily contact (as kids get older) but about an internal sense of acceptance and love. Being away from my parents without regular contact (I still agree that any camp would allow calls in an emergency or with serious homesickness) was, for me, an important step in my development as a person who sees herself as able to experience being away and alone as a positive thing. (As opposed to cut off and lonely.)
post #48 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by intentionalmama View Post
But, it just seems that I can start to see some of the attachment concerns that could arise, especially at the age of 11 - as peers can become so all important.
I was thinking about Hold On To Your Kids in the context of this camp question, too. But the conclusion I came to is that because going to camp is by its nature a vacation from regular life, the types of attachment concerns Neufeld writes about are unlikely to occur.

Among other things, once camp is over, kids usually don't see their camp friends again until next summer!

Neufeld writes a lot about the competition between parents and peers for the child's primary attachment, and it seems to me that this competition simply can't occur in the camp situation. I also think that the sort of thing he's talking about isn't going to happen in a few weeks -- it sounded to me like a process that would take a longer time.
post #49 of 151
7 would be too young IMO, yes.

But I do not find it unhealthy at all for an 11 year old to learn to spend a period of time building new relationships outside of the sphere of her immediate family (parents) reach. Learning to cope with the issues that may arise without mom or dad isn't a bad thing. I agree that this sounds more like your needs than hers.

I'm glad that you are letting her go! And next year, at age 12, she'll practically be a teenager!
post #50 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by AislinCarys View Post
A camp I went to at age 12 had the policy of no phone calls in the first three days, as they claimed it would have made the kids more homesick. While I was fine, 2 younger girls, a 7 and an 8-y-o were not. They sat in the dining hall crying, for three days (except when they were made to go to bed, when they still cried). It was awful. After those three days they called home, begged their parents to pick them up and their parents did. As I remember, the parents weren't impressed.

I think that reasoning, no calls because it will cause homesickness is stupid. I do know that if I had been homesick, talking to my mother, telling her about my day, would make me feel much better.
With all of my camp experience I find this horrifying!! The camps I have worked at would have either allowed a call for these 2 kids, or a camp counselor or director would have called for them and spoken with the parents about the situation!

I would research a camp more thoroughly before sending a kid of the ages of 7 & 8 - some can handle it and some can't. Also, counselors who are in charge of the younger 7 and 8 year old campers are the BEST counselors I've ever seen, and very dedicated to their jobs - I really don't know how they do it since they are sleep deprived most of the time!
post #51 of 151
Skueppers "I was thinking about Hold On To Your Kids in the context of this camp question, too. But the conclusion I came to is that because going to camp is by its nature a vacation from regular life, the types of attachment concerns Neufeld writes about are unlikely to occur.

Neufeld writes a lot about the competition between parents and peers for the child's primary attachment, and it seems to me that this competition simply can't occur in the camp situation. "

Thanks for your insight. I find this helpful. Never having been to camp - I really have no idea what it is really like.

I really like British Mum's experience of camp:"Camp isn't such a big thing in the UK, but I did go to one camp as a kid. And there were pay phones. And there were no limits whatsoever on using them to call anyone you chose to call. And there were no logistical problems with it either. I just recall us hanging around waiting for a phone to be free in the evenings, chatting and eating candy and larking around as we did so. It was no chaotic big deal, just kids hanging out while they waited turns. And there was more that a hundred kids there. And no cell phones in those days either!

Some kids called a lot, some didn't call at all. I think I called once or twice during the week. "

This sounds so natural, healthy, and relaxed to me. It makes me wonder if it would really be such a big deal to have a pay phone kids could use. Perhaps we just think it would be. It sounds like some kids would be too busy to call, some would call maybe once or twice and perhaps some more often. But maybe those ones who did call more often - needed to. I guess I question if a camp really needs to enforce a cut off from parents during that time (in the best interest of the kids).

Lesley
post #52 of 151
The camp I worked as a counselor at didn't allow phone calls for the 1st three days.

The reason the parents were given: the no-phone-calls rule fosters independence and helps the campers bond with the camp.

The reason staff was given: kids call home crying and their parents come and get them. camp loses campers. bad for business.
post #53 of 151
GuildJenn, did you by any chance go to one of the Farm and Wilderness Camps?

Camp person here for sure: went as a kid, worked as a counselor. They all had the same rule. Which of course, of course would have been suspended in an emergency. Writing letters home once or twice a week was a big part of camp - we had to come prepared with stamped, addressed envelopes. I loved writing and receiving letters while I was at camp and don't ever remember missing my parents.
post #54 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by intentionalmama View Post
You just really want to know that she is ok, and that you will miss her. Sounds like pretty normal feelings to me.
Lesley
Thank you. I was starting to feel that there was something wrong with me. I asked the camp, "Are there really parents who drop off their seven-year-olds for five days?" They said, there are some that drop them off for four weeks!
post #55 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
I was 11 when I started to go to overnight camp and I did just fine. I had a blast being away from my parents!
I am sure she will do just fine and have a blast. She is independent and strong and bold and smart. I just think that no phone contact with parents feels wrong to both me and my husband and to her.
post #56 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~pi View Post
Honestly, I don't think this is about AP. You aren't talking about what your 11 year old daughter needs -- you are talking about what you want as a parent. . . . Who is the camp for, again?

mama. I would be shocked if they didn't allow phone calls in exceptional circumstances (i.e. something horrible happening.)
Well, when I posted this, I thought is was only my issue, but I have asked her again and she wants to talk to me over the telephone. She will go to camp and not talk to me if they insist because she is dying to go and will make that sacrifice. But it feels unnatural to her too.
post #57 of 151
haven't read the previous post but just wanted to comment that I think most camps have a similar rule. The camp I went to as a kid didn't allow calls, but it wasn't a hard and fast rule. If a kid was really having a hard time they could call home or if they got hurt or something. I actually started my period for the first time at camp and they let me call my mom. My niece broke her wrist at the same camp a couple years ago and she was able to call home. The rule is there so that they aren't getting bombarded by phone calls all day, but I am sure if the situation warranted it she could call you.
post #58 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
Also, you can always call the camp during office hours, right? And say, how is my daughter doing?

Generally when I was growing up, and as a counselor at Girl Scout camp, camp was No Calls. But that didn't mean if a child got hysterical they couldn't call home.
They assured me they would call if it was an emergency or if a kid was so homesick that they just weren't functioning. My daughter asked how often does a kid go home, and they said, "we have one about every other year that goes home."
post #59 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingHyena View Post
Now quite a few of the kids come with their own phones and I hate to say it is a real pain. The child with the phone often gets more upset after phoning home and the kids without phones are more upset because they can't phone.
My idea is that the camp should allow cell phones but not let kids keep them on them at all time. Or, better, I LOVE the pay phone idea!. If they do cell phone, then all the camp has to do is line up the cell phones and give kids 5 or 10 minutes in the morning when they line up all the cell phones and let them call who they want. I am sure some of them do not want to talk for 10 minutes, they can share with the ones who didn't bring cell phones.
post #60 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I worked at a really good camp for many years. (How to talk so kids will listen... and Parent Effectiveness Training were the core curriculum for counsellor training and it was where I first ran into the whole concept of GD.)
I LOVED that book!
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