Great parents are game changers. Our guys have won the lottery on this one.
Not saying this to flatter the readers, but instead to point out how incredibly fortunate every boy at Skylemar truly is. You are there to support, encourage, guide and catch him when he falls. Perhaps some folks may be guilty of “over-parenting”, but nevertheless, there could be no person in the world more loved than a Skylemar boy.
The fun part of the parenting job is to watch your son flourish and grow, as he takes advantage of the opportunity you have provided. While he’s away at Skylemar, it’s a treat to hear him brag about getting up waterskiing or the friends that he’s made. It feels especially rewarding to know that here he’s mastering skills in relationship building, independence, decision making, and safe-risk taking.
The not-so-fun part of the parent’s job is to be the “dumping ground”. Boys need a place to put their feelings, whether happy or sad. That’s where you come in.
When the road gets bumpy within the culture of childhood, it’s hard as a parent to resist the urge to fix. The best advice we’ve heard came from 13 year-old camper Marcus (name changed to protect the wisest) whose mother was concerned about his cabin placement. He “dumped” on her about his nervousness, so mom understandably wanted to get involved. But Marcus wisely declined her involvement and instead said, “Mom, I’ll figure it out.”
Figuring it out, or FIO as we call it, is one of the casualties of the pandemic. While isolated at home in front of a screen, our boys were denied the opportunity to be physically accountable to those outside of the family at home. Their brains were deprived of practice sessions for managing feelings that we know as adults will eventually go away, but to them it may seem daunting. For example, take a sleepover party. Experiencing the jitters of going to someone else’s house for the first time, or conversely the disappointment of not being invited, are uncomfortable feelings that get easier with practice.
Our hope at Skylemar is to help our guys catch up a bit and make up for some of that lost time. For us it's about doses of good old-fashioned fun, chances for redos and safe risk taking, plus lots of love along the way. We'll throw in some make-your-own-sundaes and fireworks on Trickey Pond, and he'll never suspect that he's learning.