This patient support community is for discussions relating to the challenges of parenting children (age 6-12), including physical development, handling school & classes, emotional development, cognitive development, and games and activities.
My husband and I would like to send our 12 year old son to camp for 31/2 weeks this summer. He does not want to go. We have a cottage where he insists he wants to go. At the cottage he has opportunity to golf in a junior program - which he says he will do every summer - then he bails. He also has swimming lessons which he barely does. All he wants to do is hang with buddy Jordan and Claire, make movies, play x box, goof around. Should we force him to go to camp? His little brother really wants to go - but he can go for 2 weeks at his age. Ben's only option at 12 is this 31/2 week option. OUr view is that the camp is incredible and gets him very active as he also seems to be getting very idle during his down time. my husband thinks we should say you are going - final answer. I am just not convinced that this is a good way to hang on to him or to hand him over to the camp staff....
hummm a Dilemma , don't we love em , well I think camp would be great and I agree with you but not certain about forcing him to go, purseuding him would be better.I feel camps are really the greatest thing for children , the sports and the activities are in my opinion what are really great for kids of this age to participate in .So try to do some encouraging regarding the camp ..its a good thing ...good luck
3 1/2 weeks does seem long for an unwilling child. I suppose there is no other camp he could go to, possibly one that combines physical activity with computer activity or something else he might like more?
Well, this is a tough one. Sometimes we parents envision something for our cherubs that is really more what we like than them. We want to offer them the world, make them well rounded, give them opportunity. They just want to play X Box.
In all truthfullness, I think that I'd skip camp. Forcing a child to spend a third of their summer doing what we want them to do rather than their being pumped up about it doesn't seem fair to me.
I think that we can get caught up in things and lose sight of the true mission as a parent. We want our kids to be SELF motivated. He's not at this point. Golf and swimming don't hold the same appeal to him as it does for you. Rats!! I've worked on this same thing with my own son. Little lessons along the way help him see the big picture. Example, he likes to do well at school but if you don't study for your spelling test----- you may not pass it. He could wing it for a long time and not have an issue but as the words got harder, he couldn't. Recently, I asked him if he wanted to work on his spelling words. No was the answer. Okay---- well, he missed several words. HE did not like this. Wow----------- perfect lesson for him. He WILL work and study his spelling words now because he didn't like how it felt to do poorly on a test. He's now self motivated and it isn't me 'bugging' him about it.
So, I'd think of how you can create more of that type of thing in your home. Perhaps an earning system for his down time---- an hour of physical activity a day minimum. This could be anything and let him choose what it is. Let him also say if he wants it to be a family activity--- long bike rides are good for everyone. Tennis is fun. Whatever---- as long as he does it. And then he gets his down time to hang.
I understand that at 12 you worry about what a boy can get into and structured time seems a good way to keep them out of trouble. But he seems to be asking for time to just be a kid. I get that.
So, no, I'd not send him, I'd send his brother and let him hear the stories of what a blast it was but I would not force him to go. goodluck
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