"awesome" counselors

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We got our 2nd postcard from difficult child. He said he did the ropes course. He was scared at first but they helped him through it and he did great. He said the counselors are awesome.

    I am ssoooooo thrilled. This is exactly what I wanted.

    Now, what I really want, is to know what the counselors do to get him to do all that stuff and how they keep all those wild kids not only under control, but committed and happy.

    Yes, they have outdoor education degrees ... but does that mean I have to go back to school to learn how to do all this?
    difficult child and I couldn't be a worse match for one another. He is so hands-on, and I run out of steam (mostly emotionally) way b4 he's achieved whatever it is he needs to do. I mean, I was so frustrated when he couldn't learn to tie his shoes, and finally gave up and just did velcro. He was finally ready at age 7 to listen to the next-door-neighbor boy, who was 9 at the time, and learned in a split second. (Yes, it was all the same stuff we went through for yrs.)

    I want to know what sets off that "Aha!" lightbulb moment.

    In the meantime, I am jumping for joy that this camp is exactly what I had hoped it would be.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. I had to laugh at my note about wanting to know what sets off that "Aha!" lightbulb moment. I suspect most of you will write back and say, "If you figure it out, let US know!" LOL!
  3. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    When my daughter was little, we tried every way we could think of to teach her to tie her shoes - it was more that she didn't care than that she didn't understand. As long as one of us was there to tie her shoes for her, what did she care! One day her favorite uncle showed her how to do it (exactly the same way that we did!) and finally she got it! Very frustrating, but at least she was tying those shoes!
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Kid's often do better for others, not their parents. There is no magic in what they do--they just aren't you. I'm glad he's having fun, but I wouldn't feel that they have a better handle on him than you do. Chances are he is on honeymoon behavior.
    This "better for them and than mom" is VERY common.
    Enjoy your time off.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You know, Terry, I bet that a lot of what it is that drives him to succeed in that situation is that he has a turn "right now", and if he doesn't do it "right now" then the opportunity is gone. I know that he wants to succeed and be recognized, and you can't do that if you act like a baby and won't try.

    I hope that came out right? I'm glad that he is having a good time.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    All those "awesome counsellors" only deal with each kid for a month, or for a summer. They also don't have 24/7 responsibility for anyone but themselves. They get breaks between sets of campers. They have someone they can send the child to if the problems become more than they can cope with.

    As parents we have them 24/7. All the responsibility all the time. Yes, there are schools and daycares and classes and churches etc... BUT who do those places all call when it gets to be too much??

    Mom and dad. The people the child won't listen to on a daily basis.

    And, sometimes we have a certain parenting style adn we have a kid with a different style - if hte 2 don't match at ALL then there are some real problems even in a family where every member is a easy child.

    As parents, there are various books etc that can help us. One that specifically talks about the different styles of parenting is Helicopters and Drill Sargeants by the Love and Logic people. It was a quick listen on audio and was very illuminating.

    Glad difficult child is having a good time.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oooh, neat idea for a book, Susie. I'm a sucker for books ... :)
  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    glad to hear difficult child is having a great time and stepping up to the challenge. You know that our kids usually do better for other folks, in the short run, and the couselors are folks he probably looks up to and doesn't want to dissapoint or look bad in their eyes.

    Too bad we don't garner that kind of respect!!!

    I remember when difficult child was a little guy being a little frustrated because he learned so differntly from easy child. She could just sit down with me when she was little and learn letters, colors, or shapes, etc., in one sitting with rapt attention! Do I even need to say that I couldn't do that with difficult child?

    But, I am a huge believer in finding a kids' passion/motiviation in order to teach them something (something new, a consequence, whatever). difficult child's first word was plane. He loves planes. So I took advantage of that and we would drive out to our airport. We would take a snack, drive up to the top floor of the parking garage, get out and count! We would count the planes as they were taking off, we would count the fed ex planes on the tarmac, we would count the planes coming in, the private jets at the business hanger, etc. That's how I taught difficult child to count. It was like a field trip. You could park in the deck for an hour without paying.

    It's also like when difficult child started taking medications. He couldn't swallow a pill. I bribed him for a month before school started with a trip to Toys R Us. Didn't work.......finally, I had a week before the school year started and I needed to get the concerta in there and see how he reacted to it. I told him that he was just going to have to be like Stellaluna (anyone know the book about a baby fruit bat that gets seperated from it's mom and is raised by a mama bird and her babies). You don't have a choice here now bud, just open your mouth and I'll put in back in your throat like the mama bird put the grasshopper in Stellaluna's mouth!! It worked. We did the Stellaluna pill swallow for years!!!!!

    You never know what is going to work until you try!!! If one thing worked for all our kids they wouldn't be our difficult children!!!!

    Again, glad difficult child is having a great experience.

  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Terry,

    I'm thrilled he is having a good time and gaining self esteem through these activities. I don't think you can reenact this experience as much as you would like to. But hopefully he will come home and put some of what he learned to good use.

    "difficult child and I couldn't be a worse match for one another." I've said this about me and my difficult child too, fromt he way she learns to the core of her values and goals in life.

  10. ML

    ML Guest

    I think you are a perfect fit for one another. You each have the opportunity to grow and learn. You challenge one another to evolve and reach higher levels of those "aha" moments. I'm so happy that he is having a good time. I hope you are enjoying the peace :)
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I think you will really enjoy the book, either in audio or print format. I listen to it over and over periodically simply because it is interesting and helpful.

    If it is ANY consolation on the topic of our kids learning better from others than from us, my mom couldn't potty train me. Not for the life of her. It took my older bro going to kdg and coming home to read to me and teach me what he did in school that day to get me to sit still long enough to figure out the potty thing. (I still think this is a RIOT!)


  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the support and interest.

    Okay, I realize that I most likely will never have the success that they have ... and one of the reasons is that these kids have no alternative. For ex., if they say, "I'm going to run away," where are they going to go? The mountain next door? :)
    So there are some obvious advantages to wilderness camps...
  13. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Great difficult child is liking camp :) I imagine there is a honeymoon factor. Everything is new and exciting. There is probably some positive peer pressure and good role modeling at work here as well.

    Sounds like a good experience for difficult child no matter what!
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I"m thinking he's one of the easier kids. He rarely acts up in public.
    There were a bunch of very "cool" goth kid checking in when we were, and all I could think was, whoah, are they in for a surprise. First off, with-their pure white skin, they will be burned to a crisp when they go kayaking. Second, they don't do anything requiring physical activity--they just sit in front of their computers all day. So at least difficult child had baseball, soccer, figure skating, horseback riding and basketball under his belt. (And normal t-shirts. :) )
    I can't wait to hear the stories that come home.