A summer camp lesson for parents from Jessica Lahey

by ParentCo. June 22, 2015

In her essay "Now is the Season of our Malcontents," Jessica Lahey writes thoughtfully on summer camp drop-off, and how it relates to important milestones in childhood development. Lahey writes:
"To grow in the ways they need to grow, children have to do it on their own, and usually away from their parents, sometimes overnight, sometimes for days or weeks or even months."
She cites psychologist Michael Thompson, who wrote "Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow." He writes that there are some things parents can't do for their children, no matter how much they want to.
  1. We cannot make our children happy.
  2. We cannot give our children high self-esteem.
  3. We cannot make friendships for our children or micro-manage their friendships.
  4. We cannot successfully double as our child's agent, manager, and coach.
  5. We cannot create the "second family" for which our child yearns in order to facilitate his or her own growth
  6. It is increasingly apparent that we parents cannot compete with or limit our children's total immersion in the online, digital, and social media realms.
  7. We cannot keep our children perfectly safe, but we can drive them crazy trying.
  8. We cannot make our children independent
Read the whole thing here: Now is the Season of Our Malcontents — Jessica Lahey


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