Our 2016 Strengthening Families Summer Family Fun Camp held its graduation for participating families on September 8th. The families enjoyed their time with each other and built relationships within their groups. In addition to having dinner with one another and getting support in the individual children, teen and parent groups, they had fun playing games and earning prizes for their families. If you were not able to make it, don’t worry, we will be scheduling fun family events throughout the year until our next Summer Family Fun Camp in 2017.
Throughout the summer we had many great discussions in the parents’ group one in particular and especially relevant to the new school year is how to encourage children to participate in at least one positive activity whether that be a sport, dance, art, karate, music or other activity that peaks their interest. The dilemma is, if they don’t like it, how long do they have to continue and what about the expense? Parents are often torn when a child really dislikes an activity but you put out a large amount of money, what do they do? The discussion continued into the age of the child, how long did they try the activity and if the child is very young maybe try activities that are free or very reasonable until you find out what the child really likes to do. Understandably parents talked about making their children continue because they put out so much money for them to join and refuse to let their children quit which causes resentment and frustration to build up in both the parents and the children. Some suggestions of reasonable activities were Boy & Girl Scouts, 4-H, Church programs & some school programs. It was also shared that some programs will offer a trial time of a couple of sessions to make sure it is something the child is willing and wants to continue. Don’t be discouraged, it can take a child many tries to find something they really enjoy. The parents shared with each other activities they have tried and things their children ended up committing to.
Parents also discussed how important it is for their children to be involved in at least one positive activity. Positive connections help build self-esteem and identify healthy role models. Adult relationships are especially important since children can be faced with many risky behaviors including using tobacco, alcohol & other drugs. More details were shared that this positive connection for children with activities is also one of the 40 Developmental Assets identified by Search Institute.
For more information please contact Natalie at 973-383-4787.