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Is It Right To Make Her Go?

My 6th grader heads to Outdoor School today.  She is less than thrilled.

For those that aren't familiar, Outdoor School (see info/video here) is a program for 6th graders that takes their education out of the class room for 3 to 5 days and puts them in nature, living in cabins, learning about what makes our ecosystem tic.  It's a fantastic opportunity for children whose parents aren't able to venture into our lovely forests, and see what true beauty really is.  And we're are so lucky to have it all around us in the Pacific Northwest.  And it's terrific for those children that spend too much time with the Kindle (Ahem, my Lily).

I know why she's nervous, Lily is really a home-body (much like her mother).  For the past 3 years, when it comes to sleep-overs with her friends, she usually wants them to come here.  When we have the opportunity to go out to dinner she complains that she'd rather eat at home.  (Mom would rather have someone cook and clean FOR her sometimes, thank you very much.)  She's so anxious about Outdoor School and it doesn't seem like anything I say, or her teacher says, or her big sister - who went 3 years ago - is helping.  She's crying, which she hardly ever does.  She talks about all of the bad things that can happen (her imagination is really working overtime).

My oldest, Katie, couldn't wait to go to Outdoor School!  She was so excited and so prepared that I didn't feel any remorse for putting her on that school bus that headed down the road, filled with a loud group of 6th graders and 2 teachers (that I'm sure had some Valium tucked away somewhere).  However this afternoon, I don't know how I'm going to feel.  Her teacher is aware of Lily's anxiety, so I hope Lily will get the reassurance she needs when she's there.  Her teacher has placed Lily's closest friend as her cabin mate, so that's gotta help.

I wish she was happier about this experience.  I don't know how well I'll sleep tonight.

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8 comments:

  1. I went to camp once when I was young, maybe 9. The worst part for me was that when I was miserable, I couldn't call home. I don't know how far she is going, but maybe you could tell the teacher to give you a call if Lily is having a really hard time.

    Part of me wants to say that we need to move out of our comfort zones from time to time. As someone who's comfort zone becomes more confined as time goes on, I am not sure if this advice is good or bad. She may go and have a great time. If she doesn't go, it may be difficult for her to hear all about it when her friends get home. I think your decision is justified either way. Trust your mom instincts.

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    1. Thank you Nichole. She is about an hours drive and this organization is all about education and care of children so that's a comfort to me. Also, her school Principle is heading up to the camp to check on the kids today. What a guy!

      I really think she'll have a great time, it's just so hard to make her go when she seems miserable. I'm going with my mom instincts and off to Outdoor School she goes.

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  2. I hope that she enjoys it when she gets there. It is best to get her accustomed to going out now rather than when she is an adult. The first step is often the hardest part. See if she can come home early if she is miserable.

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    1. I agree, this is her first time going away from home for more than one night, so I'm sure that's part of her anxiety. If she is truly miserable she has the option to come home :->

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  3. Never know how she'll enjoy it till she's done it. Mine goes this week to something similar. She's excited about it.

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    1. Yay! It's so wonderful when they're excited. I would love to hear how it goes.

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  4. I am going to honest I am not a parent but it may be a good thing for her to go.It might help her get out her shell and experince new things .I was introverted as a kid and sometimes doing new things was scary but in the future I was happy for those experiences.On behalf of me and the other co-host of the Favorite Post SHOW OFF thank you for sharing this

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    1. Thank you Marty!

      I was introverted as well. (Actually didn't step too far out of my comfort zone until I became a parent! ;-> ) I am thinking of her all the time and am sending as many positive vibes as I can.

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