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Repost: “Why Camp Counselors Can Out Parent Parents”

I stumbled across this article and chuckled a bit. It reminded me of the days of working as a camp counselor and director where I interacted with kids one on one and in conjunction with their parents. I often found parents who have great intentions, but didn’t always have parenting skills.

Although they are young, camp counselors go through 40+ hour trainings each summer, Camp directors utilize the most current child development research and trends to train their staff. From behavior management, to encouraging kids to take part in “cabin group” chores, camp counselors end up spending more hours per day in a parental role than most parents, especially at overnight camps.

Here is an excerpt of a recent New York Times article from renowned child development speaker and author, Michael Thompson:

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! Read more…

Read more, learn more, and observe what the Girl Scouts of Colorado Camp Staff that work with your daughter do! I sometimes refer them as “Kid Whisperers!”

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