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December 01, 2011 - Image 68

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-12-01

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Wi l lo w ay


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December 31, 2011

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December 1 • 2011


in Bloomfield Hills. "It often helps
to pair them up with one of the
adults in camp to be that 'special
friend/pseudo parent' that they can
come to:'
Not to be outdone, of course, is
the anxiety Amy and I will likely
feel when we take her to the bus.
Despite the bravado that she wants
to go away "for a month, Daddy:' we
will likely send her for a mini-ses-
sion, which is typically two weeks.
Just writing that caused suf-
ficient angst to trigger some heart-
burn. But that, too, is part of the
collective experience, according to
Friedman. Parents sending their
kids out of the nest for the first
time is as much a milestone for
them — meaning, us — as for the
"Parents need to trust the camp
and its directors, and not tele-
graph their concern to their kids,"
Friedman says. "Otherwise, the
kids will share the parents' anxi-
ety about going to camp. Indeed,
camps are the safest places on
Earth for kids. It's tough for parents
to let go, but it's the best gift a par-
ent can provide a child."
I guess, when you're a child
psychologist, it seems like second
nature. Friedman's mantra, "Calm
parents make for calm, well-adjust-
ing kids at camps and otherwise,"
is sound advice. It always sounds
easy coming from somebody else,
I am thankful we have the means
to provide this opportunity to our
children. Summer camp enriches
character and fosters indepen-
dence. Jewish values taught by the
campfire sound a lot more appeal-
ing than sitting in class. Maybe I
can take a mini-session, too? I I

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