How Do You Know if Your Child is Ready for Camp?
Parents are always asking me: “How will I know?” The easy answer has to do solely with separation. If your child does sleepovers (and doesn’t have to come home in the middle of the night!) that’s a positive sign of their ability to separate from parents at camp. Sleepovers at friends’ houses! Grandparents and cousins […]Continue
Self Esteem and How Not to Grow It
My mother, who stayed home and gave us everything she had, raised us with the notion that three good home-cooked meals a day and a snack after school was as far as the parenting thing went. She didn’t edit my college essays or advise me on friends or teach me how to straighten my hair. […]Continue
How to help your high school student get into the driver’s seat….
I had a question from a reader about how to get her high-school age daughter to advocate for herself at school. Ask for extra help. Find out the timing of tests and assignments, connect with teachers and letting them know she exists. This is a perennial parental challenge. We know how and what they need […]Continue
Christmas is the most important time of the year for my family. Surprised? As a Jew, I am hardly erecting Christmas trees or holding my breath till Santa comes down the chimney, but Christmas is a holy time for our family. I do mean holy. A family, like any other organism, subsists on nourishment. Time […]Continue
By: Mara Kates, Assistant Director “Bully” has been the buzz word amongst parents and people who work with young people for the past few years now. And it’s great that we are so aware of our kids’ social and emotional well-being. And it’s great that we’re teaching kids that it’s ok to reach out and […]Continue
Supporting Anxious Kids
By Mara Kates, Assistant Director At camp, we get a unique epidemiological perspective on childhood afflictions. I am not a scientist but I would hazard a guess that rates of childhood anxiety are on the rise. Whether a kid has a clinically diagnosed anxiety disorder or is simply afraid of the dark, children (and their […]Continue
Stop Googling. Let’s Talk.
COLLEGE students tell me they know how to look someone in the eye and type on their phones at the same time, their split attention undetected. They say it’s a skill they mastered in middle school when they wanted to text in class without getting caught. Now they use it when they want to be […]Continue
Boys and School, Not Always a Marriage Made in Heaven
He’s got a lot of energy… He’s always moving… He’s quite a handful…. Wow, is this guy going to the Olympics, he’s quite competitive…. Does he ever sit down? These comments are code for: Your son is difficult to manage in the classroom. Or program… Or play-date. When teachers or coaches or other parents say […]Continue
Parents as Dictators
Try an experiment. Ask your kids how much control they feel they have over their lives. You may be surprised. Because our kids tend to be so privileged, we erroneously assume they feel in control of their lives. We mistakenly equate privilege with control. But the two are profoundly different. Privilege means having lots of […]Continue
Saying goodbye to campers… at the bus… at camp….
A Summer Camp Lesson: Good-bye, and Go Away, Thank You Very Much by JESSICA LAHEY in The Atlantic Three years ago, when he was eleven, my son Ben set down a very specific parental code of conduct […]Continue