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Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by sblanck, Nov 11, 2018.
As you can see, I quoted @BillyMc, whose daughter is off to college next year, so I'm assuming 17.
Boredom is a product of what we've allowed to happen. I see grade school kids walking around with iPhones and Android phones. Before they are double digit age they don't have to amuse themselves. The country has let devices become baby sitters. We didn't allow the DGT to have a phone until high school and still within a couple months she could be without it. She's a senior now and still she will get it taken when she gets obsessed with it. The boy 8 and almost 11 don't have phones and aren't going to until at least high school. I see kids their age with phones in Sunday school and scouts. All of them have no attention span and can't amuse themselves more than a few minutes. Our DQT joined the marching band. Had I known what was involved that would have never happened. The people running these extracurricular activities don't understand family unit. Six days a week all day for weeks at the end of the summer, then three nights a week practice plus football games on Friday nights and band competitions on some Saturdays. Late summer and all of fall is pretty much done for.
I would too, but DW not having that. So, that led to them both getting left behind one trip. Just the boys and me for three days. Very little cell service, but the DW call couple times a day even though it was hard to hear and the calls kept dropping. The DW will "what if" herself to death. The kids are our grandchildren and technically the court papers state "adult supervision required". She was in middle school when the papers were written, but she'll be 18 this summer and I'm camping more!
I agree. It's outrageous how these activities can take over the lives of the entire family. It's not a career, doesn't need that much time dedicated to it. Last year, my cousin and one of his kids came down for winter vacation. His wife had to stay home with the other kid that had basketball practice every day.
Learning to entertain yourself is a learned activity. IMHO, cell phones are quite the scourge to healthy learning and behavior.
I know someone that took his DW and teenage DS and DD to a remote, off-grid Canada fishing cabin. The DD was constantly complaining about the lack of connections for her phone so he cut the trip short by two days. There is no way I would give in to complaints like that. But on the other hand, my kids would have never complained like that since we have raised them with plenty of outdoors activities and tools to keep their brains busy.
My kids were never allowed the excuse for boredom and the grand kids are in the same situation. We always tell them that if they are bored, it is their own fault. With the grand kids, as we did with our kids, when we take them camping, to the cabin or just hanging around our house for the day, for the most part we have them put the electronics away. Sometimes they complain, but there is always a way to remedy that quickly.
Camping, we keep them busy with hiking, board games, card games, firewood duty, sitting-around-the-campfire conversations, throwing the football or Frisbee (away from other campers) and the like. We try to teach the skills that will make them a successful camper when they are older. Sometimes we "forget" the metal S'more sticks, so I have to show them how to make them out of twigs. The older ones like it when we show them how to properly use the Swiss Army Knife. We also make sure they are involved with every aspect - setup, tear down, preparing meals, cleaning up, even showing them how to level the pup. We feel that making them feel as if they are an important part of the trip is very important.
At the cabin, the lake takes care of most boredom. Swimming, fishing, skiing, waterboarding, knee boarding are never in short supply. We also bring a volley ball, football and Frisbees. When my DD played softball, we brought gloves and balls. I've seen others bring a Bocce ball set for family fun. On rainy days, we will bring out the PlayStation, but it can only be used if more that one person is playing. If one person plays an electronic game, they are a zombie, if two play, there is always laughter and interaction. We mostly use the PlayStation for after dark movies.
At home we keep them busy with mostly outdoor activities (Shooting basket, playing on the swing set, making a fort (either in the woods or with the furniture), playing tether ball. If it is raining, we have a small library of kids books and board games. The Wii keeps them physically active if they want their electronic entertainment. The DW even gets them involved with her gardening. They love to help her dig around in the dirt.
Kids and teens adjust if you show them the way.
My daughter is 12 and Son 8. This is my greatest fear. But so far we are always doing stuff different stuff. Some ideas
1. Drone with camera...i love them and my kids too.
2. I got a electric dirt bike which most campgrounds do not care as they are electric.
3. Fishing seems to perked some interest.
4. I got some kick pads and the kids practice there kicks. Yes we get funky looks but who cares.
5. We camp in private campgrounds that have wifi but all device connect via my router for security and 7.30 pm parental shut down.
The boys have Firetablets that I set what they have access to and how long they can spend on it. They are also set to having to spend 30 minutes reading before they can access any apps.
Why not include the kids on the planning and decision making phase of the trip. If they're involved in making choices from the beginning there is far less for them to complain about later.
I also bring kicking pads as my daughter is a black belt and i try to hold it for her. Ofcourse my son jumps in too. But it cool to train with your kids.
She also has taken to painting so i set up her stuff to paint and she is very engaged. My son loves his drone so we goof off with it and ride bikes.
weird we only play board games when we camp. kids are tough as seems their attention span is short.
So we went camping last Friday. We arrived and pretty soon my daughter had noticed a creek down the hill behind our site. She spent time down there looking around. The camp ground had lots of deer wandering around in the morning and the evening about a dozen. So she liked that as well. Some turkey vultures were flying around and landed on the roof of a nearby dining site and she went over to watch them. All in all she had a good time. We had to cut our trip short by one night because water was dripping out of where the gas line goes in to the heater area. I dont know why there was water but didn't feel like it was a good thing.
Looks like it could mean Drama Queen Teen.
One of my boys' favorite past times is complaining. That said, I never let it stop us or deter us from doing anything. In the end, they usually have fun and we get a good story out of it. The older they get (10, 12 and 15 now), the less they complain as it doesn't get them anywhere. They always manage to find something to do.
We recommend leaving the kids at home, and bring the dogs...
Mason is 9, which means he'll be a teenager week after next. If he has a bike to ride, and the weather is cooperating, he'll be fine. We've been (tent) camping before, and the excitement is enough to keep him from jonesing for the iPad. Maybe a few minutes at bedtime.
And hey, when he's really a teenager, we still have the tent. He can sleep in it and have his own space. I think it's low enough that we could pitch it under the bunkend.