Friday, July 1, 2011

How Do You Send Your Kids Away For Summer Vacation {a reader debate}

I just came across a great article, one that really hit home this summer for me.  The article was about letting your kids go away for the summer and how could one do that? 

Honestly, I would have thought differently about this question if I was not in the predicament that our family is in this year.  For some reason, the economy hit my family hard.  We are fortunate that we both have jobs, (thank god), though my pay and hours were cut at work.  At first, I was thrilled  YEAH, I can be home and I enjoyed it.  I was able to spend more time with my kids, especially because I work full-time out of the home and feel already that I am missing out.  That was the first week.  Now came week 2 and getting my paycheck and actually feeling the wrath - it hurt!

Now comes the reality.  Daycare for two kids is expensive and now that both of them are out of school - r.e.a.l.i.t.y.

My parents are retired and have a camp up north in Lake George.  This coming year (actually this coming week), my parents will be taking my children for the entire week while my husband and I stay home and work.  If we were to pay for day care for the entire week for both of our kids, that would be my paycheck and we just could not live on one salary, at least not right now.

There are so many positives for my kids to be with my parents, such as:

1.  They will be able to spend time with their grandparents and make memories.  Tons of memories they can hopefully speak to their kids about.

2.  Six Flags Great Adventure is right around the corner from my parents camp and we will buy a Season Pass for each kid.  With that Season Pass comes free passes.  Hence, my parents will be able to go on the rides with them (and boy, does my father like to go on the rides!)

3.  They can do things throughout the day.  Like go shopping, go play miniature golf, go swimming, etc.  All  things that at a day care, they would not be able to do.

My son is in college and goes away to school.  I miss him terribly, though I speak to him every day and he comes home some weekends or we try to plan time to get up to see him.  I know this is not quite like it, however, it is still sending your kids away.

Will we miss our younger kids this summer going to mima and pipa's?  Yes, like c.r.a.z.y!  Though they are only a hop, skip and a jump (ok, an hour car ride) away, so we can always take rides up to see them at night or just wait until the weekend when they come home. 

For us, right now, this is going to work.  It has to. 

What are your thoughts on this subject?  I would love to hear, whether positive or negative.  Do you feel the same I do, or are you against this?  Please comment below.

1 comment:

slugmama said...

I feel summer camp or informal camp with relatives is a great thing for the kids.

My mom use to have 'special vacation' as we called it my kids(not all of them at once but she'd take 1 at a time"when they were very young. Mom lived with my brother and my other brother lived nearby so they had lots of adults doting on them and I feel that time away from their siblings made them feel truly special.

We tried daycamp 1 year locally and they hated it. They didn't get the sleep away experience which I wanted them to have and the people running it were just doing it for the money. The counselors were not trained well and could care less about doing a good job. This was a local YMCA camp.

About 8 yrs ago we found a YMCA camp on Lake Erie and the kids began to attend there, first for 1 week because I feared it would be like the daycamp experience. But they came home begging to go
So we sent them the next year for 2 weeks, then 3 weeks per summer if we could swing the cost of another week. The reason we picked a camp clear on the other side of the state was it was the CLOSEST sleepover camp we could afford!lol Sleep-away Summer camps are crazy expensive now!! As my kids got older, they took leadership and counselor training at the camp and now the oldest 2 have fulltime summer jobs as counselors. My oldest also attends college near the camp so he has a parttime job working at camp during the school year as well.

I was reticent about sending them so far away the 1st year. But the people running it are terrific and the few times we've had problems(like the year my eldest got severe poison ivy)they are quick to jump on the phone to us and/or deal with the issues. Even the problems have been good for them to learn how to deal with obstacles and people who are different from you.

Outside of getting them out of the house and active in the summer, camp has been wonderful for them. There's the meeting people outside of our small stifling little world here in our tiny town(some of the kids that attend are from Europe and Japan as well as glamorous places like Cleveland OH lol) The camp also has inner-city kids and special needs kids there so the dynamic is like a miniature global village.

Yah, I miss the kids when they are at camp....well, not so much when they were teenzillas....but I'd rather they be there and growing in so many ways than be here just for my emotional benefit.