Back To School Week: I Worry About My Daughter More At Camp Than At School

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campMy daughter is in a “bubble” at school. Meaning, in many ways, school is not the real world.

At her private school, there are volunteers to open car doors when you drop and pick kids up. They eat at real tables at lunch, are served hot meals, and even have a salad bar. There’s an indoor ballet studio, swimming pool, full gym with work out machines, and the male teachers wear suits and ties. The teachers treat the children respectfully and never in your life have you seen a school of such polite children. I’m talking handshakes when they meet new teachers and handshakes with the headmistress. Children actually hold doors open for adults. Although there is the odd drama that happens between the girls, there’s rarely anything to be concerned about, because the teachers make sure that ALL the girls feel welcome and that they all democratically participate every activity.

They teach respect at my daughter’s school, thus she is to be respectful too. She’s always to share. She’s always to listen. She’s always to include everyone who wants to play with her at recess. She’s always to listen to the teacher, and there’s no talking back. If a teacher says to be quiet, she’s to be quiet. If someone is mean to her, she is not to be mean back, but go off and play with someone else.

But I have different “rules” for her during the summer time when she’s off at camp. It was a friend’s husband who actually got me riled up about how I have to “train” my daughter differently during summer. He taught his son how to punch someone in the face, just in case he got into a fight at overnight camp. Trust me, my friend would never allow her son to punch someone at his private school, but their thinking went that at camp you have to have “street smarts.”

I could see her point. I wouldn’t be able to talk to my daughter at all during over night camp, so I wouldn’t be able to protect her or talk her through a problem. I didn’t teach my daughter how to punch because I don’t believe in violence at all, but I do believe my daughter needed some street smarts when she went off to day camp for the first month of summer and then overnight camp for the second month.

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