If you’ve been to camp, you’re not surprised when you hear about the benefits of summer camp. Having experienced life at camp yourself as a child, you know the profound positive effects that still matter to you as an adult and you also know that you want the same thing for your own kids. But if you didn’t go to camp as a child, you may not realize just how good the experience is for children. You may not know why so many parents are committed to sending their kids to camp. So, here is a list of the most important reasons to send your kids to camp.
This year’s mantra for National School Breakfast Week, March 7 – 11, is “Wake Up to School Breakfast” and is strikingly appropriate. Eating a nutritious breakfast is an essential component of academic success as it gives the body the jump start it needs to get going and the nutrition it needs to keep going. In addition, a healthy breakfast keeps away the hunger pangs that cause students to lose focus on their lessons because they are more concerned about meeting the first level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of need—food.
Youth of all ages, but especially younger children, often find it hard to recognize and discuss what’s bothering them. As is often the case, just like with adults, changes in behavior may provide the cues that they’re overwhelmed. Common behavior changes in children and teens can include acting irritable or moody, withdrawing from activities that they usually enjoy, routinely expressing worry about a situation, complaining (more than usual) about school, getting tearful or fearful more easily than usual, or eating and sleeping more or less than they usually do. With teens, spending more time with their friends is normal and healthy. Be attuned to some more overt changes though – like significant parental avoidance, increased isolation, abandoning long-time friendships for new peer groups or expressing hostility towards basic family rules or towards certain family members. While resistance, striving for autonomy, seeking more independence and some of the normal “acting out” we often see with teens is to be expected, negative and sustained changes in behavior is almost always a clear indication that something is wrong.
All living things know what to do with their young—except the parents of today, it seems. The old tradition of raising children, which came from an autocratic society, is no longer working in our democratic setting today. It seems that we have to learn new forms of dealing with each other because our relationships have changed. The adult/child relationships in the past were ones of dominance and submission. Today, equality is the only basis on which we’ll ever be able to effectively solve discipline problems. We are witnessing a rebellion of all those who previously were dominated in an autocratic society and who are no longer blindly accepting the dictates of authorities.
Now that August is here, school is on the horizon. No matter what grade your child is about to enter, there’s the yearly back-to-school checklist of to-dos like shopping for school supplies, filling out permission forms and, of course, scheduling your child’s pediatric visit at Care Resource. The back-to-school season is a convenient time for putting the exam on your family’s schedule and make sure that your school-age children, from preschoolers to college students receive their vaccines.