Summer Is for Keeping Kids Close and Setting Them Free

Eliza Clark
June 23, 2014

Do you and your partner ever have disagreements over your kids? Of course you don't. (Ahem.) But if you did, I wonder if you ever had one over summer camp. Specifically, sleepaway camp.

I'm curious because my husband and I did not initially see eye-to-eye on the subject. He argued that summer is a time for us all to be together and bond as a family. I could see his point, but also thought that a little independence and self-reliance, not to mention time in the woods away from the city, would be a great experience for our ten-year-old. In the end, we compromised on a two-week camp for her, leaving us plenty of time for family bonding as well.

Our little push-pull over summer plans was a preview, I suspect, of many future discussions over the possibilities and purposes of summer vacation. And I imagine that we were not the only family to have had that kind of debate. Is summer for keeping the kids close? Or is it for setting them free?

In the end, of course, we were both right. Summer can include both things. It can include family trips or family staycations that bring us closer together. And it can also mean new experiences for the kids that allow them to explore the world in new ways.  Together, these two aspects of summer allow our kids to grow.

From the Parents

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