What kind of parent allows their 5 year-old to attend "sleepaway" camp? PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 13 July 2012 20:41

Not in a million years would have I allowed my first born child, as a five-year-old, to attend full day summer camp. I kept a strict schedule at home that was followed year round making sure his needs were tended to, every minute of the day. The idea of allowing my first child to spend an entire night sleeping in a tent without parents in the care of college age counselors would have sent me into a full blown panic attack. What kind of parent allows their five-year-old to camp out sans family, down by the river?


I lost my cool when my seven-year-old first camped out ("Diary of a crazy mother on the 1st night of sleepaway camp").


Alas, as happens so often in parenting, you realize you are a different parent to each child out of experience and knowledge. At least, that's what I kept telling myself as I escorted my five-year-old baby to her campsite for the night. She'll be fine. You know she'll be fine. It's just one night. Feenie carried her own sleeping bag although I asked if I could help and she literally leapt into the tent without a final good-bye. I still had the same reservations I had with my first-born but her attitude proved that I was a different parent to her than my first.



"I'm fine, Mom. Go!" And a minute later, "Seriously, can you please just go?"



There was no time for an inspirational/motivational talk with this one. "Bye, Mama!"




What kind of parent allows their five-year-old to camp out sans family? The one that knows their child best. It's nearly eleven pm and so dark outside but instead of waiting for a phone call from the camp (like I did with my first born), I'm envisioning Feenie roasting marshmallows with her friends and barking orders at her counselors. More so and most delightful, if she makes it all night - next year all three kiddos will be in enrolled in traditional sleepaway camp. I can't even imagine all the free time I will have important independence skills they will learn. Viva camps!

Last Updated on Friday, 13 July 2012 23:10


# Lindsay 2012-07-13 22:25
I can feel my heart palpitating at the very THOUGHT of any of my kids having a sleep-over (oldest is barely 7) at a FRIEND'S house, let alone by a RIVER. I both dread and welcome those days to come - such a big step for parents and kiddos alike! Kudos for dreaming of roasting marshmallows and singing cumbaya! :-)
# KasiaIamkasia 2012-07-14 04:46
I'm sure she was a rock star and you are too for giving her more opportunities she is capable of handling rather than preventing them--although I am sure that's terrifying for a parent. How did she do! ?
# amy 2012-07-14 09:08
SHe was great because of you and alot of her.
I wish my kids would go to over night camp. I could handle 3/4 weeks.
# anymommy 2012-07-14 23:52
Oh, I love this. YOu make me brave. I might actually send my oldest next year.
# Kristy 2012-07-16 11:24
Enjoy your quiet time mama!! :-)

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Pauline Karwowski.

Is a self proclaimed globe trotting, minivan driving, SAHM stiletto ho.

Happily married mother to 3 Cleveland natives: Jay the son, Lola the daughter, and Fifi the banshee.

Now in Chicago, IL.

The content on this blog is the opinion of the blogger.


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