Summer Camps Compromise Family Time





Summer Camps Compromise Family Time

Summer camps have dominated the discourse of modern parents with majority of them highlighting its overt benefits to the child’s growth. However, underlying the concerted praise by parents, there are fundamental flaws in their reasoning. The activities previously sacrosanct to the family have been outsourced. The over emphasis on independence had significant impact on the changes in parenting styles. An individual’s childhood experiences transcend adulthood. Unfortunately, parents are having less influence on these experiences living the onus to camp instructors. Perpetual structured learning typical in summer camps inhibits creativity and self-discovery of the child. The camps are unique experiences, if harnessed to create memories for the family. The parents use the camps as a pretext of personal enrichment for their children all the while they are absconding their duties. Summer camp robs parents of important opportunities to instill values directly into their children hence should be restricted.

The summer camps are meant to keep the children’s mind occupied that they forget their parents’ absence. Contemporary parents have their priorities all confused. They work hard to provide their children a quality upbringing hoping to raise all rounded and independent adults. However, they forget the impact legacies that are more important than material inheritance, values (Collado, Silvia, Staats, and Corraliza 41). They do not directly instill morals on their children as they depend on institutions and other external professionals to fulfill that responsibility. In the era when both parents are working full time jobs, the said guardians interact with their kids during the quiet drive to school. The parents come late in the night when the children are asleep or too drowsy to internalize any life skill taught then. When vacation period comes, they opt to take the children to camp to prevent them remaining home idle and unsupervised.

Some parents may not even be aware of the error of their ways as they are aping their own poor upbringing. They attempt to propagate a family tradition whose basis they do not understand. The said guardians, also victims of parent absenteeism, believe they turned out fine. They have misguided values that give self-reliance precedence over compassion. It follows that they actively search for opportunities to highlight the importance of independence and the corresponding decision-making. They are fixated with the destination undermining the importance of the journey. The children learn to be independent but their decision making process is flawed. As they begin building social relationships at the camps, they value the wrong qualities in a friend. For instance, they tend to choose friends in relation to their social status or physical appearance rather than loyalty. Farther on in life, the values reflect their choice of life companion (Dyer 27). As their parents paid little attention to the importance of investing time and love in their relationship opting to take them to expensive summer camps, they may choose a partner hinging on their material wealth.

The camps can be effective time for the parents to bond with their children. Feiler supposes that the city is indeed an ideal place to raise a person’s children due to the difficulty finding playing ground. The absence of the wild deprives children of exposure that could prove helpful in their adulthood. While the above legitimizes the concept of camps, it concurrently avails an opportunity for parents to bond with their children. The parents may take a break from their busy schedules to teach the said values of the wild directly to their kids. Once the parents have already gone for a few with their children, their absence in the subsequent ones will be acceptable even at times recommended. The camping experience will have grounded their later experiences as they will always remind them of their loving father or mother. It is not wise for a parent to commit a child to a sports camp when they have never played with them. The validity of the camp argument is limited to nature camps rather than the common math camps. The math summer camps elevate the importance of education in the child’s life above all else. The child’s worldview will revolve around admission into college and subsequently the perfect career (Lancy 48). Nowadays, the summer camps are recognized as valid entries in resumes. While education is crucial, it should be clear it is secondary to human interactions.

Parents have a limited time to influence their children. The parents can be effective role models to their children up to their early teens; past that age, their peers inform their actions. After college, they will have little desire to return home. Making their absence frequent with camps every summer robs them of precious memories of their childhood home. In the digital era, children are closer to their mobile devices than to their parents to diminishing the period of influence farther (Freeman, Claire, and Kearns 112). Social media has seized the domain traditionally left to parents. For instance, children get their first sexual perspective from the litany of information in the internet. Rather than attempt to compete with the increasing array of outside influences, parents should strive to optimize the limited duration that they have to leave indelible values in their kids. The summer presents an ideal setting to input ineradicable principles into the children as opposed to shipping them off to the various camps. The concept of transference in psychology has proven that early childhood has the most enduring effects on a person’s adult life.

The parent should be at the forefront of character building rather than delegating it to other adults. Children nowadays spend most of their time with teachers, religious instructors, and baby sitters more than their biological family. It comes as no surprise that some children become attached to their nannies viewing the parents’ role as titular. In their absconding tradition, these parents praise the character building qualities of summer camp coordinated by nurture experts other than themselves. They diminish their essence in the children’s upbringing underscoring their inferior qualifications relative to the said experts. As much as professional expertise is essential, the specialists are limited in delivery (Freeman, Claire, and Kearns 116). The parents are at a vantage point due to their emotional connection to their offspring. Children naturally long for their parents’ approval, father, or mother depending on their sex. Parents should leverage the position to integrate positive childhood memories into their children in spite of their limited life skills. The child at a junior age values familiar counsel and instruction more than that of strangers. The socialization process is a lifelong activity that should start at home. Furthermore, the camp should not be substitutes to parental instructions.

As the children are relatively grown, summer camp acts as the substitute to babysitting. They prefer to keep their children occupied, as their availability during the holidays is uncertain. Similarly, with proximity to teenage hood there is a corresponding dive in children’s obedience to babysitters decreasing the efficacy of their services. Camp becomes a welcomed resort to this unattractive option. Previously, mothers had a nurturing role and their career ambitions had to be delayed until the children reached a certain age (Blair, Clancy, Raver, and Berry 554). Additionally, there were extended familial relations that facilitated family retreats. Children could play with cousins of the same age group. The emergence of self-reliance, that the parents are so keen to instill in their children, coincided with the decline of the extended family and rise of female emancipation. The latter implied that women remaining to home to look after their children equated domestication and subjugation. The negative connotations surrounding a homemaker include misuse of years of education making it unattractive.

With a mentally tiring syllabus at contemporary schools, children require rest during vacation. The scheduled physically draining events negate the purpose of a vacation. Therefore, the children move from mentally draining schoolwork to physically exhausting activities with no rest. Other children are engaged in extracurricular activities during the school term thus holistic learning is already in play defeating the need for the summer camp. Not to forget the primacy of rest itself in the all rounded growth of child. The structure innate in any type of camp contradicts the independence the experience claims to be building. Dell’ Antonia posits children should play freely without confining their actions. The children will find something to do with the extra time they get to avoid boredom, constructive or otherwise. The free thought process helps hone creativity in the children. Correspondingly, the said children discover their natural talents in contrast to the ones thrust upon them by their guardians in form of soccer camps and the like.


Works Cited

Blair, Clancy, C. Cybele Raver, and Daniel J. Berry. “Two approaches to estimating the effect of parenting on the development of executive function in early childhood.” Developmental psychology 50.2 (2014): 554. Print.

Collado, Silvia, Henk Staats, and José A. Corraliza. “Experiencing nature in children’s summer camps: Affective, cognitive, and behavioral consequences.” Journal of Environmental Psychology 33 (2013): 37-44. Print.

Dyer, Wayne W. What Do You Really Want for Your Children? Random House, 2011. Print.

Freeman, Claire, and Robin Kearns. “Childhoods under canvas: Campgrounds as spaces of resistance to protective parenting.” Childhood 22.1 (2015): 101-120. Print.

Lancy, David F. “Teaching is so WEIRD.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 38 (2015): e48. Web. 29 October 2015.

Feiler, B. and Dell’ Antonia, K. J. “Should you send your children to summer camp?” The New York Times (7 July 2014). Web. 29 October 2015. <>

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