Dealing with Resistance
No one disagrees that being a parent is tough. Our children’s brains are still developing; what they want to do, and what they need can sometimes be pretty far from each other. As their parent, you are your children’s guide through life and if they happen to get on a difficult path it’s your job to help get them back on track.
Sometimes these decisions are no-brainers, if your kid gets sick you help them get the medicine or treatment they need to get better. But sometimes it can be harder to help our children make changes, especially when they push back and resist.
We get calls from parents every day at Summerland who need help. A parent may have a daughter who spends all afternoon on social media their son to never goes outside on the weekend because he’s glued to a video game.
Sometimes parents want it to be their child’s choice to attend camp. The issue is that kids are often focused on short-term goals/rewards and it’s our job as parents to help our kids achieve success in the long term. While it is understandably hard to have your child upset with you, ultimately you have to remember the bigger picture.
Fortunately, Summerland is incredibly fun. This should make the decision to go easy, and we have a blast at camp. Campers reconnect with nature, peers, and themselves while learning new hobbies and adventure activities. From drone flying to model rockets to adventure sports and water activities- campers have the summer of their lives while learning life skills and focusing on the future.
Remember that you are preparing your child to be an adult and out on their own in the real world. If you currently have to police their screen activity, think about future consequences is the habit does not get under control.
While your child might not thank you right away, they at some point will understand the sacrifices and hard choices you made as a parent for their benefit- not to mention once they get to camp, they will see how fun it really is.
Here are some tips on how to make a decision your child may not be thrilled about at first:
– Have your own support team. Talk to your spouse, family members, and a friend. Find someone who understands your decision and lean on them when you need to. At Summerland, our Directors are happy to help emotionally support you as a parent every step of the way.
– Practice how you are going to inform your child. You know your child best and can gauge what the best way is to inform them. For some kids that might be a “sit down” a couple months before camp so they can soak in the idea, for other kids maybe you notify them the weekend before. However, you decide is best to run through what you are going to say and try to think of what your child’s rebuttals will be so that you are prepared.
– Once you have announced that you as a parent have made the decision help your child find their own positive reasons for attending. Maybe make a list of activities they are interested in trying or go shopping for new clothes for their journey.
– Don’t make any side deals. This is the hardest step, once you’ve made the decision follow through on what you said. Help your child see the long-term benefits and don’t let a minor setback, like homesickness, derail you from why you made the decision in the first place. Avoid saying things like, “Just give it a try and if you really don’t like it I’ll come pick you up.” This is a recipe for disaster.