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From Summer Camp to the Moon
Many parents can't
help feeling exasperated by the behavior of their teens. The rebellious nature
of adolescents manifests in many ways. A child might be experimenting with
drugs, or spends countless hours staring at a computer monitor, tablet, or iPad
while neglecting schoolwork and family responsibilities. Or perhaps they are focused too much on
the opposite sex or are just morose and sullen and lack any motivation.
Well, if you are a parent seeking a positive way to motivate your teen then both you and your child might benefit from a summer camp or wilderness program. Away from the familiar routine, your teen's time will be filled with confidence-inspiring activities and an opportunity to develop social skills that aren't related to social media.
But if you’re hesitating because you're not sure that summer camp will prove to be a worthwhile investment in your youngster's future, just consider the words of one of first humans to land on the moon, and the second person to walk on it. When asked the secret to his success, Buzz Aldrin credited his achievements to the challenge of flight, the opportunity to fly, the competition of summer camp and the discipline he received at West Point.
To raise confident and compassionate child who develops dedication and is inspired to get ahead is every parents' dream. But during those awkward teen years, keeping our kids on a path towards becoming independent adults who can think on their feet can be especially trying. With distractions on all fronts, including video games, drugs, drinking, and sexuality, teens need the extra motivation. And that is exactly what the summer camp experience helps to provide. Whether it is a music camp or a wilderness camp, the challenges teens face will help cultivate their resiliency and life skills.
In a 2012 Psychology Today article Michael Ungar (Ph.D.) wrote that summer camps are places where children get the experiences they need to bolster their range of coping strategies by putting away their makeup, stashing their iPads, getting a little dirty and all the while challenging themselves and making new friends.
Not only do camps provide teens with positive experiences that prepare them for the future, they also offer young minds a glimpse of life that has nothing to do with the internet or social media. And once an adolescent steps outside his or her comfort zone and begins to experience the world without filtering it through Facebook and Snapchat, a deeper and more profound awareness will take hold of that child's psyche. Of course, sending your teen to camp won't ensure that they are amongst the first few humans to walk on the moon. That ship has already sailed. But who knows, the first manned mission to Mars is just around the corner.
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