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Dear Parents: Please Relax, Itís Just Camp
The New York Times ^ | July 26, 2008 | TINA KELLEY

Posted on 07/26/2008 6:16:18 AM PDT by Amelia

...Karin Miller, 43, a stay-at-home mother during the school year with a doctorate in psychology, who is redefining the role of camp counselor. She counsels parents, spending her days from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. printing out reams of e-mail messages to deliver to Bryn Mawr’s 372 female campers and leaving voice mail messages for their parents that always begin, “Nothing’s wrong, I’m just returning your call.”

Jill Tipograph, a camp consultant, said most high-end sleep-away camps in the Northeast now employ full-time parent liaisons like Ms. Miller...

...The liaisons are emblematic of what sleep-away camp experts say is an increasing emphasis on catering to increasingly high-maintenance parents, including those who make unsolicited bunk placement requests, flagrantly flout a camp’s ban on cellphones and junk food, and consider summer an ideal time to give their offspring a secret vacation from Ritalin.

One camp psychologist said she used to spend half her time on parental issues; now it’s 80 percent....

...“They’ll give their child two cellphones, so if they get caught with the first one, ‘Just give it up and you’ll have the second one to talk to me,’ “ he said. “That’s widespread, not isolated. I call it fading parental morality. What they’re doing is entering into delinquent behaviors with their children. And what kind of statement is that to a child?”...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Education; Miscellaneous; Society
KEYWORDS: children; parenting; parents; psychology; summercamp
Those sorts of parental attitudes aren't confined just to camps...I'm guessing that anyone who works with children in any capacity is seeing more & more of them.
1 posted on 07/26/2008 6:16:19 AM PDT by Amelia
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To: Amelia

Heliocopter parents = liberals


2 posted on 07/26/2008 6:32:15 AM PDT by y6162
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To: Amelia

Yup, I worked as a school nurse and these parents think their kid is the only one in the world....these are helicopter parents when their kid is little and when they get into middle school HS the kids seem to be left to flounder on their own...they are not doing their children any favors.... I sometimes think the school nurse was the only place of comfort these kids had....

My favorite school story is a mom calling in with a complaint that one of the words used on the spelling list was fat. “We do not use the word fat in our home, we say fluffy instead.” I guess both mom and child were “fluffy”


3 posted on 07/26/2008 6:51:23 AM PDT by Kimmers
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To: Kimmers
Yup, I worked as a school nurse and these parents think their kid is the only one in the world....

We have some in the high school who are still this way...particularly that the rules apply to everyone but their little darling....

4 posted on 07/26/2008 7:07:19 AM PDT by Amelia
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To: Amelia

Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda. - Allen Sherman

Dates self without carbon..


5 posted on 07/26/2008 7:16:40 AM PDT by vietvet67
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To: Amelia

...just wait til they get in college...it gets even worse with some kids/parents....they take the attitude “I am the customer, you must please me...so what if I took cell phone calls in class and turned my paper in a week late...I paid for the course and deserve a good grade”


6 posted on 07/26/2008 7:28:20 AM PDT by STONEWALLS
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To: Amelia

In all the years mine have gone to sleep away camps, I’ve never once had to call the camp staff. Perhaps that’s because not one camp has ever banned cell phones and I expect a short “I’m still alive” phone call from my little campers each night.

That said, thanks for the chuckle, lol.


7 posted on 07/26/2008 8:26:06 AM PDT by itsthejourney
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To: y6162

I think it depends on the situation.

I have 3 kids, and I am definitely very protective of one of my daughters. She has issues. Since she was 6 weeks old she’s had a brain injury. She looks normal, but she has speech problems. Recently, she had a grand mal seizure and was put on anti-seizure medication. While doing an EEG to find out about the seizures, the doctors found a heart arrhythmia.

For example, our junior high group is gone for the weekend on a campout. 2 of my kids are at the campout, but my special needs daughter isn’t. She came down with a cold a few days ago. She doesn’t have a fever, but she is snotty and losing her voice and has a cough. I didn’t want her to be sleeping out in the cold. She hasn’t had a seizure, but illness and lack of sleep can bring them on. We’re also going on a huge vacation (a cruise) in 3 days, and I don’t want her sick.

Right now, my daughter is asleep. When she wakes up, I’m driving her over to the campground. She’ll hang out all day, and then I’m taking her home so she can sleep at home.

It’s hard to know what is right or wrong in her situation. I think sometimes teachers, camp counselors, etc don’t know the full situation with children.


8 posted on 07/26/2008 8:57:31 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: Amelia

Both my daughters have gone to Christian camps for one or two weeks. There is no communication with them by design. They’ve never been homesick. In fact, they wanted to stay longer in some instances.


9 posted on 07/26/2008 8:59:56 AM PDT by manic4organic (Send a care package through USO today.)
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To: Kimmers

My child was having lots of problems in 3rd grade. All year long I tried working it out with the district. She would hold her ears and yell “shut up” “shut up” “shut up” when we got in the car. Her behavior changed dramatically, and she was constantly getting headaches.

The principal told my husband and I that I was the reason my daughter was having problems.

Now the thing is, my daughter has a brain injury, but when I brought up my concerns everyone thought it was stress related.

Well, last October, my daughter had a grand mal seizure.
After that, she had a very abnormal EEG. She is now on anti-seizure medication, and she is much better. Now, when I say my daughter is having problems, everyone listens.


10 posted on 07/26/2008 9:03:16 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: Amelia
“They’ll give their child two cellphones, so if they get caught with the first one, ‘Just give it up and you’ll have the second one to talk to me,’ “ he said. “That’s widespread, not isolated. I call it fading parental morality. What they’re doing is entering into delinquent behaviors with their children. And what kind of statement is that to a child?”...

The camps should invest in a cellphone jammer and have several payphones which the kids can use with the appropriate change. Also a novel idea would be for the kids to actually write letters home.

11 posted on 07/26/2008 9:05:57 AM PDT by Polynikes (Yo, homie. Is that my briefcase?)
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To: luckystarmom

“I think it depends on the situation.”

I agree, however, some parents really are too involved in their kids lives.

When we dropped off my daughter for her first year of college, the college basically said, don’t call her for a month, leave her alone, let her separate. I was fine with that, but my wife struggled with it.


12 posted on 07/26/2008 9:42:21 AM PDT by y6162
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To: y6162

It’s camp, the kids are being surveyed from afar, how about we call these, the Telstar parents?


13 posted on 07/26/2008 9:44:37 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: luckystarmom

I am sorry you had to through all of this and you and your child had to experience a grand mal seizure before anyone would listen. We are not talking about situations like yours....


14 posted on 07/26/2008 9:51:40 AM PDT by Kimmers
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To: itsthejourney

Your type IS the whole problem alluded to in the article.

Thanks for playing.


15 posted on 07/26/2008 10:48:34 AM PDT by Don W (To write with a broken pencil is pointless.)
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To: Amelia

Personally having a kid in camp is a reprieve from doing hard time everyday. 1 week a year to ditch the kids.
My kids get a “don’t call me unless your dying” lecture.

However, parental authority trumps teenage counsellors anyday. We are called to honor our father and mother that it will go well with us.

If my dear little hoodlums are required to call daily, then the camp has to honor that.


16 posted on 07/26/2008 2:05:21 PM PDT by asksimon (I'd rather be a rightwing nutjob, Then a lib with no job and no nuts.)
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To: Amelia

I’m not a fan of sleepaway camps. Day camps are better for me. I like the ideas of my kids being closeby at night. I’m old fashioned.


17 posted on 07/26/2008 2:07:41 PM PDT by Sgt Joe Friday 714
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To: asksimon
If my dear little hoodlums are required to call daily, then the camp has to honor that.

I think if I were going to require that, I'd find a camp where they didn't have to break the rules to do it...if you don't, aren't you also sending a wrong message?

18 posted on 07/26/2008 2:27:39 PM PDT by Amelia
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To: STONEWALLS
...just wait until they get in college...it gets even worse with some kids/parents....they take the attitude “I am the customer, you must please me...so what if I took cell phone calls in class and turned my paper in a week late...I paid for the course and deserve a good grade”

I've heard stories about these parents in magazines. It doesn't even stop after college. The article I read had stories from headhunters and HR staff. Very pushy with an extreme sense of entitlement regarding the little darlings entry level jobs, earnings and advancement. If I was in charge of hiring, I'd make it very clear, YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL.

19 posted on 07/26/2008 2:28:12 PM PDT by gracie1 (Why can't I pay my visa with my mastercard?)
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To: Sgt Joe Friday 714
I’m not a fan of sleepaway camps. Day camps are better for me. I like the ideas of my kids being closeby at night. I’m old fashioned.

Nah, you're even more overprotective than the parents in the article. ;-)

Sleepaway camps aren't a big thing around here, but then again, we don't live in an urban area in the northeast...our kids are in the country all the time. An adventure for them would be going to the city & riding the subway. :-D

20 posted on 07/26/2008 2:29:30 PM PDT by Amelia
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To: gracie1
If I was in charge of hiring, I'd make it very clear, YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL.

If I was in charge of hiring, I sure wouldn't hire anyone who had to have Mommy & Daddy handle the application process for him/her!

21 posted on 07/26/2008 2:30:39 PM PDT by Amelia
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To: Amelia

It’s a question of authority, and parental authority trumps some power mad little college kid.
I try to make sure that I follow the camp rules and encourage them to do the same.
But neither do I send my kids into an area where they are forced to compromise instilled ideals.


22 posted on 07/26/2008 2:32:38 PM PDT by asksimon (I'd rather be a rightwing nutjob, Then a lib with no job and no nuts.)
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To: asksimon
It’s a question of authority, and parental authority trumps some power mad little college kid.

I agree.

However, apparently some of the camps say that no cell phones are allowed -- not an arbitrary college kid rule, but the camp's rule, spelled out beforehand.

If you insist that your child should have a cell phone so that he or she can call you every night, you need to find a different camp for your child.

Otherwise, you're teaching your child that rules are arbitrary, meant to be broken, don't apply to him, etc.

23 posted on 07/26/2008 2:40:24 PM PDT by Amelia
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To: Amelia

Let’s see! Would I even trust my little darlings with a cell phone at camp. I love them dearly, but I’d have to consider that the cell phone would probably be a casualty to youthful exuberance.
Nope! A plastic baggy with a handful of quarters would have to suit my darling little maniacs.
If dying or needing essentials they’d have to fight thier way to the pay phone with the rest of the rabble.
Of course, I might not be home, having taken my wife to go paint the town familiar.


24 posted on 07/26/2008 2:48:18 PM PDT by asksimon (I'd rather be a rightwing nutjob, Then a lib with no job and no nuts.)
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To: asksimon
Would I even trust my little darlings with a cell phone at camp. I love them dearly, but I’d have to consider that the cell phone would probably be a casualty to youthful exuberance.

I was wondering how many of the children sent to camp with cell phones used them exclusively for calling parents, and how many were running up huge texting bills!

25 posted on 07/26/2008 4:24:37 PM PDT by Amelia
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To: Amelia

Yikes! Well you know what they say in that cellphone commercial.
Who are all those people behind you?
Why, they’re my network!

Seems more ominous when you imagine that group of people behind your children.
Like Hillary’s community is raising your children.

Isn’t technology grand?


26 posted on 07/26/2008 4:32:58 PM PDT by asksimon (I'd rather be a rightwing nutjob, Then a lib with no job and no nuts.)
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To: asksimon

By the way, Amelia, why does a children’s camp have a psychologist? Do shrinks usually find gainful employment at children’s camp? Must make sitting around the campfire a real drag.


27 posted on 07/26/2008 4:35:53 PM PDT by asksimon (I'd rather be a rightwing nutjob, Then a lib with no job and no nuts.)
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To: asksimon
Beats me. I didn't know they did have psychologists until I read this article, but it sounds as if this camp has one to deal with the crazy parents!
28 posted on 07/26/2008 4:43:00 PM PDT by Amelia
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To: Sgt Joe Friday 714

That’s not old fashioned, FRiend.


29 posted on 07/26/2008 4:49:14 PM PDT by Doohickey (SSN: One ship, one crew, one screw.)
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To: asksimon
By the way, Amelia, why does a children’s camp have a psychologist?

They would seem to need one mostly for the parents and not necessarily for the kids. :=)

30 posted on 07/26/2008 4:52:07 PM PDT by Bob
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To: Amelia

Parents at least 80% of the time anyway.
The other 20% for psychoanalyzing ghost stories.
“...and then he heard a voice saying ‘give me back my BIG TOE!!!’”
“Johnny,” said the psychoanalyst placatingly, “tell me about the toe.”

Horrid!


31 posted on 07/26/2008 5:02:50 PM PDT by asksimon (I'd rather be a rightwing nutjob, Then a lib with no job and no nuts.)
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To: asksimon
ghost stories.

Maybe one night before summer is over, we should have a FReeper ghost story thread! Or at least someone could suggest that to someone on the Canteen threads... ;-)

32 posted on 07/26/2008 5:31:33 PM PDT by Amelia
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To: Amelia

Sounds like fun. Then again some of the things I’ve read regarding Obama-rama has given me nightmares. :)


33 posted on 07/26/2008 6:24:38 PM PDT by asksimon (I'd rather be a rightwing nutjob, Then a lib with no job and no nuts.)
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To: asksimon
Then again some of the things I’ve read regarding Obama-rama has given me nightmares.

I was thinking the other day that Clinton was starting to look good by comparison.

34 posted on 07/26/2008 6:48:09 PM PDT by Amelia
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To: Kimmers

I know you weren’t talking about my situation. However, people make assumptions about kids, espeically when they look normal.


35 posted on 07/27/2008 7:04:27 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: y6162

I just did a first last night. I left my daughter at her junior high camp. She got sick on Thursday, and the junior camping trip was Friday. I kept her home on Friday night and sent her brother and sister. I decided that if she was better on Saturday, I’d drive her up for the day.

She seemed a lot better, and she was so happy to be there. I decided that she’d be okay if she spent the night, but I was going to stay the night up there also because I have to go back up there this morning. Well, one of the other kids got sick, and I volunteered to drive him home so his parents didn’t to come get him.

It’s a big deal to leave my daughter since she had a seizure. However, the parents at the junior camping group all know my daughter well, and one of the other parents has a kid with seizures. My daughter has emergency medicine, and it’s a suppository. The parent on the trip asked me if I had the emergency medicine, and she said she would give it to my daughter if needed.


36 posted on 07/27/2008 7:16:25 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: luckystarmom
After working many years as a school nurse, I never make assumptions about anyone, particularly kids.... I had the pleasure of working with some great nurses and guidance counselors. We also had outstanding special needs teachers. We would design care plans for kids with physical or emotional problems and would also educate the staff about some of the issues.

I hope your school does the same and the staff is educated on what needs to be done for your child.

37 posted on 07/27/2008 7:34:55 AM PDT by Kimmers
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To: Kimmers

In the public school, they didn’t do anything. (I was in a very bad district in California.)

In the private school, they are wonderful.

I’m glad there are people in the schools that are kind and caring.


38 posted on 07/27/2008 7:41:58 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: Polynikes
“The camps should invest in a cellphone jammer and have several payphones which the kids can use with the appropriate change. Also a novel idea would be for the kids to actually write letters home. “

Actually, since these camps are private businesses, the parents who want their kids to have a cell phone should find them a different camp.

As a parent, I find it a little unnerving to entrust kids with anyone who wants to restrict their communication with me. I can see not allowing use of phones during certain activities, classes and so forth. They don't even need to be turned on...just there if there is a reason to call home.

What are they trying to hide?

39 posted on 07/27/2008 8:01:10 AM PDT by Nik Naym (If Republicans are your problem, Democrats aren't the answer!)
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To: wintertime

ping


40 posted on 07/27/2008 9:32:21 AM PDT by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are NOT stupid)
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To: manic4organic

We hope to find a good Christian camp one of these years.

BTW, no comment on the tuition cost in the article...$10,000? That’s money that was looted from America by Wall Street and the banks.

The camps around here charge around $300/week.


41 posted on 07/27/2008 9:40:09 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture¬ô)
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To: Polynikes
The camps should invest in a cellphone jammer

Which would result in, IIRC, a $100,000 fine for violating Federal law.

42 posted on 07/27/2008 9:08:25 PM PDT by Citizen Blade (Batman is a Democrat. The Punisher is a Republican)
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