Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Summer is here!  

I recently read an article going around Facebook about how kids just need to be kids during the summer.  Just hang out, learn to play by themselves, and entertain themselves. The article mentioned that camps will make them feel entitled, and that they won't appreciate the experience anyway. 

I thought it was a good article, in that it was well written, entertaining, and had some good points, but I don't agree with it entirely.

I do think children should know how to play without being led by an adult.  I do think they should be able to have time to just be kids and to create and to be themselves.  All these things are vital...especially in the summer.

BUT, I know that kids thrive with structure.  I also know that if kids only have free play on their agenda, they're going to go insane and that the grownups will go insane as well.  

I also know that if you only have planned activities and camps for your children, they will never know how to just be and will be exhausted all the time.

There needs to a happy medium.  Days need to be filled with structure (camps, outings, instruction at home, chores) and free play (movie watching, lego building, run-around time). Moderation in all things.

I do think that kids can start feeling entitled after a while...and that's when we, as the parents, need to set them straight.  Make them pull lots of weeds, make sure they keep their rooms clean, make them work for those things you're putting them in and doing for them!

Growing up, I danced every single summer, all summer long.  I have great memories from those summers. I learned how to be independent and how to think for myself.  I made great friends, and I grew a TON in my skill.  

Having structure during the summer gave me a purpose.  I know for a fact that people who feel like they have a purpose do good things and make better decisions.

Camps and outings can get kinda pricey (a lot are well worth the price, but sometimes we can't always do them!),  so I might just put together a list of fun things to do during the summer that won't break the bank.  

What are your thoughts on summers with kids?!  What did you do growing up?


K. Britt said...

I grew up with a nice mix of structured and unstructured time during the summer. I had regular dance classes, but lived on a farm and spent a lot of time exploring and pretending. Some summers my dad would plant big gardens and we spent mornings picking veggies and afternoons playing! And a few years included week-long sleep-away camps.

I also spent 3 summers as an adult working at a traditional summer camp and I believe that the benefits of multi-week summer camps are immense. Maybe some children feel entitlement because of camp, but many I know developed a strong sense of self and I personally know some amazing, giving, independent, and passionate adults who spent many summers at camp.

chantal marie said...

I totally agree. I think moderation is key! We try to keep structure with her daily routine, but allow more leeway than we would during the school year. She does some camps/classes, but not all the time. We couldn't afford to do them all the time anyways...they are soo expensive!!

Paige Flamm said...

We went to day camp all day, everyday, all summer, every summer, from the time I was in kindergarten until around 5th or 6th grade. I honestly remember it being super emotionally exhausting and coming home crying from being so tired almost every night. I think camps are great but If we do them it may be a one week during the summer for something you really love kind of a thing and not an all summer long thing. I've really been loving getting out of the house in the morning for something fun lately (splash pad, parks, friends etc...) and then having the afternoon be at home reading, working through our at home preschool book, and just playing! It's been a good balance for us so far!

Because of Jackie said...

Yes! We tend to keep a similar routine to the school year about four days a week in the Summer (get up at our normal time, go to the gym, run errands, etc), and leave our other days open for whatever appeals to us. We do one camp a Summer (which they love), and spend lots of time together either at the beach or at home in the backyard. I think all things in parenthood come down to moderation, leaving a little time for extra special stuff to happen (and imaginations to run wild!)

Kayla MKOY said...

Ugh YES! Moderation in everything is awesome. I love this and totally agree! Kids need a good amount of both structure and free time! I think you do a great job with those boys, FYI!

rebeccalately said...

I love this! I agree that kids need the freedom of summer. Our boys are in summer camp at the YMCA. It's a nice mix of structure and freedom. They have a lot of free time built into their schedule, but they also swim every day and have weekly field trips. Izzie starts her summer dance class tonight! She is so excited :)

My mom stayed home when we were younger, so summers were a ton of fun. We went to the pool a lot or just played outside all day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...