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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
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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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