Should I make my son go to summer camp?

I signed my 8 yr old and 11 yr old up for camp. My 8 yr old loves it, but my 11 years old hates it! He does not want to go. I work two jobs full-time from home. I do not want him home playing video games all summer, but I also do not want to send him somewhere he hates. We also just moved, and they do not have any neighborhood friends or have anyone their age to hang with, so if he stays home, he will be stuck inside all summer. Would you make him go camping?

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I would find a compromise with him, ask him to try it for say 2 weeks and if he really doesn’t like it he can stay at home. Chances are he will end up enjoying it but by doing this he wont feel like his feelings aren’t being heard or considered

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Should I make my son go to summer camp?

It would depend on WHY he doesn’t want to go to camp in the first place for me?
Then part of me is like tough it out kid, you’ll make friends!

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Yes. It want hurt him! He might even like ir

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Make him go. I hated church camp when I was younger I love the memories now though

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Are there other kids there his age or is he the oldest? That could be a pretty big factor on why he hates it if that’s the case

Maybe he can just go part time a couple days instead of all week

As parents it’s our job to push our kids out of their comfort zone. As long as he’s not being bullied make him go.

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Do you have a boys & girls club in your area?? Our younger 2 (10&11) go there in summer & love it. We pay $90 per kid for the whole summer.

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I don’t force my kids to do something like that if they are adamently against it. I wouldn’t want someone doing that to me. It doesn’t matter if it is a kid or not. Feelings should be respected. Maybe see if you could make a deal with him where he tries it for a week, and if he still hates it then he doesn’t have to go. I realize you might end up paying for something he doesn’t use, but maybe he will change his mind. Although, if he has been before then he knows he doesn’t like it, so there would be no point in trying it for a week.

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My daughter always went and loved it. My son went one time and never wanted to go back. I never made him. All children are different. These were church camps. My daughter even went as a counselor one summer when she was in college.

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I would sit down and talk to your child and ask why he doesn’t want to go. I understand we should enroll our kids in activities, but parents also need to be understanding when a child says that don’t like something. I would just pull your 11 year old aside personally and ask why he does not want to go and also ask what he would like to do this summer. Don’t get angry at his response because who knows, it might be the typical “I want to play video games”. Try seeking out other programs around the area for him to attend, I know my old town used to have a rec center for kids of all ages.

Do you want to be forced to go somewhere you hate? No. Then why force your kids🙄

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As an introvert, I would not force my child to go. I had miserable childhood because my parents forced me outside to play when I would have rather stayed inside by myself.

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Give a choice… camp or a list of daily chores, that MUST be done or no games

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If he truly hates it don’t make him go and make a list of expectations that need to be done by time u get home from work and he also needs to check in with you x amount of times to your liking. You gotta trust him and he’s old enough to stay home alone. Make sure he knows how to use the microwave and obviously phone and tell him if he is going anywhere he has to ask permission and wait for a response from u if he’s allowed. But like I said if he truly hates going to camp I honestly wouldn’t make him go but that’s just me

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I tell him to try it for a week. If he doesn’t like it then he can stay home. I would also tell him what to expect if he does stay home. That he won’t be on a video game all day. That you have to work so you can’t do things with him. That he needs to occupy his own time. I wouldn’t make it a punishment if he stayed home. Some kids just don’t like camp and that’s ok. Good luck

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I have all my boys go. They love it! Even my special needs child feels included there. I think it’s a great experience to “force” them to attend. They need time away from electronics and to get back to basics.

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Oh yes!! Definitely need to get out of the house and feel the Mother Nature!! He need more experiences with Survival essentials he need to learn.

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I liked it as a kid but if my daughter didn’t want to go I wouldn’t make her. Maybe sign him up for some summer stuff for kids at community centers around you? Or join some mama groups on Facebook near you

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Since you mentioned video games all summer that’s probably the exact reason he doesn’t wanna go… No video games at camp!!

Depends on why he hates it. If its because he wants to stay home and play videos games then I’d make him go

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No lmao. Find out a way to regulated his video game time if that’s an issue. Don’t ruin his summer by forcing him to go somewhere he doesn’t want to go. That’s weird

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What’s the home businesses he has? Will he be busy enough with that?

So he should be left alone all summer??
Crazy!!

I wouldn’t make him
He is 11 so more pre teen than little boy
Talk with him and respect his point of view and feelings
Why force a child to go where they are unhappy x

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No you shouldn’t force him. Would you want to be forced to do something you didn’t want to do? Instead sit and have a proper talk with him. See why he doesn’t want to go. If he just wants to play games then make sure he does x amount of chores before he plays, take power cables aways if needs be. Make him do summer homework or find a camp/summer fun thing that he actually wants to go to

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Not sure about your son’s interests, but he probably hates going away to camp BECAUSE he can’t stay and play videogames (that’s exactly how I used to be) :sweat_smile:

I say sit down and make him a schedule for week days. Schedule reading , science art, music , schools often send work books home. Let him come up with ideas for science project or art, take a break from work and have a dance off with him. Trust me 5 minutes and you’ll be out of breath. Make him earn game time . Take a lunch break picnic in the back yard that he prepares. It could be a great time to build your relationship. He is 11 and should understand when to not interrupt. You got this momma prayers it all goes well.

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Our children at that age do not really know what’s best for them!! God gave them to us a little while to help them in life make good decisions!! On my experience the things my kids thought they would hate, they ended up liking…I would send him, I just wouldn’t ever let children stay home by themselves!!

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Sounds like he’s old enough to stay alone? Is that an option? Depending on his maturity & communication with you. If he enjoys that, ask and see.

He shouldn’t be left home alone period. So if you can’t take care of him send him where he will be.

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Is it just a day camp or overnight all summer camp? If it is just day camp I’d make him go, it osnt any different then sending your kids to daycare during the summer if you worked outside the home. But if it’s overnight camp, I would have him try it for a few days or so and if he still doesn’t like it look into day camps so he can be home in the evenings

He will probably enjoy it once he is there, maybe find a summer camp that looks interesting to him… I would send him to one tho.

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Yes. If it’s in his best interest then yes. Be the parent. We can’t always be loved. But I’d rather be hated while there alive than loved and visiting a grave because I didn’t do what I think in the long run was the best thing.

It sounds like a going away camp based on your description…maybe see if you can find him a camp that aligns with his interests or a day camp. My brother used to go to “nerd” camp for a week…they did robotics, stem activities, and even got a little bit of time every day to play video games.

Short answer. No. I wouldn’t force my kiddo to go. I would instead regulate game time if that’s a concern. Find some activities he can do while you work.

Lmfaooooo. Half of ya let your kids run your life huh ? :joy: smh. Letting him play video games alll summer is definitely better than him exploring his horizons, having human interaction and learning new life skills! Because ofcourse, we wouldn’t want him to think he doesn’t dictate his life. At 11… god forbid he says he also doesn’t like showers or school. We should just let him stop showering… i wouldn’t make my Poor children go to school if they hated it :joy: because why would you force your children to do things they hate. Like eating veggies or going to school. God no ! If only there were people DESIGNED to literally guide children into better choices like IDK. PARENTS ? Maybe they could be the bad guy for a moment for the wellbeing of their children :joy: keep being ya kids BFF and not their parent.

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First figure out why he don’t like it. If its a good reason then no I wouldn’ct force him,if he has no reason or a reason just to sit on his video games then I would make him try it out for a week and then reevaluate. If he still doesn’t want to then let him stay home but tell him he will not be on video games pack them away for the summer my kids already know they will be outside playing not sitting inside on thier computers unless its extremely hot or rainy otherwise a few hrs at night but otherwise not all day long

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My mother hated camp and my grandmother forced her to go for years, my mother still resents her for it and talks about it 60 years later.

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How long of a camp are we talking here is it all summer long? I wouldn’t ever make my son who is 12 go just regulate video game time to being outside doing stuff

I would require 2 weeks minimum before not making him go. Consecutive weeks. 2 weeks to change a habit or meds to kick in so it only makes sense.

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Maybe be a day camp?

Well since 11 y.o.s can’t legally stay alone here I’d be making him go

If his only reason to hate it is that he wants to sit home a play video games all day then no. I would make him go.

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Once he gets there he will enjoy it make him go he probably wants to stay in front of the computer thats how my grandkids are

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Well what 11 yr old would want to have to get up early and attend a camp LOL … i think id send him

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Yes i would
Tell him u gna be at work and have to know hes safe.
Tell him its that or day care

Personally I wouldn’t force him to go
I believe all extra curricular activities including camp should be a choice, you can’t force someone to have fun
You could always just put limits on his screen time

He’ll probably end up having a great time at camp.

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I wouldn’t force my child to go somewhere they aren’t comfortable

Yes make them go they need to learn how to socialize

No. I hated being forced to do things like that. It’s dirty, they only wash the clothes once a week, it’s exhausting, and I don’t get along with new people that well. If you don’t want him to do nothing all summer tell him that he can either go to summer camp or take a summer class or play a sport. Something to do.

Make him go! He will enjoy himself when he is there

My mother had me in summer camps/programs every single summer. When I turned 11 I told her I didn’t want to go anymore. Got into lots of trouble doing things I had absolutely no business doing. Make him go!

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Send him. He may just like it.

Day camp or overnight? Day camp i would say have him go for a couple weeks or a couple days out of the week. Overnight I wouldn’t force it.

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Why force him? So he spends this one summer doing nothing. He’s a kid. By next year he will have made friends and things will be different.

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Yes! If nothing else he’ll be able to meet people which is beneficial since you just moved to the area

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How long is the camp? I would try a compromise. Say the camp is 6 weeks, I’d tell him that we’re going to commit to going for 2 weeks, and if after 2 weeks he hasn’t made any friends and you can tell he’s not having any fun then you’ll let him quit. But, I’d also be telling him that if he ends up quitting after those 2 weeks, there would be restrictions set on tablet/gaming consoles. Something along the lines of he would have daily chores and reading to do every day, before he could use any electronics.

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I would say yes, momma knows best. I signed my 8 and 11 year olds up for day camp this summer and they both cried when I told them. But, surprise, they absolutely love it!!!

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Send him to camp.he.will love it once he is there
You need a break

What does he hate about it? Is he being bullied or anything serious? My 7 year old starts camp Monday and says she doesn’t want to go, however I know that’s because she doesn’t want to wake up early, and literally play Roblox all day🤦‍♀️ so she will be going!

I wouldn’t force my kid to go somewhere they hate for THEIR summer break. My parents did that shit just to get us out of the house and I resent them. If he stays home, limit screen time. Buy him work books and reading books for the summer. Let him know that he isnt going to be bothering all summer since you have to work. Go to your city’s website and see what type of recreation they have for kids…maybe he’ll enjoy doing something there.

I definitely don’t think you should force him to do something he doesn’t want to. Maybe look up other types of camps or programs that he would actually enjoy or be interested in. Find a few different ones and give him the option to choose, or include him in the search for one.

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Send him! He will probably like it once he gets there. If not, tell him he won’t have to go next year. Staying at home and playing on the computer would not be as healthy for him. I also worked while raising my daughter so saved vacation time to be with her then - also sent her to camp and to visit distant relatives. Fortunately my daughter loved camp!

Find out why he doesn’t want to go.

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I would say yes! Especially if you have already paid in advance. Kids need time away from electronics and to socialize with other kids. And hopefully make some new friends. Plus mama deserves some alone time to work from home.

Let him try it for a week. If he still don’t like it. Let him stay home

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My mom made me go at 14 when I didn’t want to. I didn’t drink at camp. I would’ve if I had been home. It was good for me.

Why doesn’t he want to go? Has he been bullied, assaulted at camp before? Does he have anxiety? Find out the why before you make him go.

As long as he doesn’t have mental issues 11yo is old enough to take care of themselves at home. Give him a phone or install a landline. Install security cameras so you can see what he’s doing & communicate with him Go over senarios with him & teach him what to do. I’d rather my child stay home then go somewhere they don’t feel safe.

Is it and overnight camp or day camp

I made my son go, he loved it. It is scary to walk into camp not knowing anyone, most of the time its ok. Check on him, you can always go get him.

It depends. Talk to him and see what he hates about it… If it’s something like being bullied or if he just doesn’t wanna go cuz he wants to play video games and do nothing…

I made my daughter go to camp even though she didnt want to go…she LOVED it and had a lot of fun

Give it more time. Once he makes friends he will have a blast.

I would require At least a week to try it out. Compromise if he still hates it then give him chores to do around the house or if it’s work he could help you with have him earn money. IMO I’m taking my daughter to work with me over the summer and she’s going to work & i will pay her for what she does. 1- keeps her off her iPad all summer and instills some work ethic at a young age & it helps she likes money.

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Nope. I was that kid that was forced to go to camps in the summer. HATED it and to this day, some of my worst experiences ever.

Your key words are. “I do not want him home”

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Depends. I was given the choice to go. I chose to go. I didnt regret it. I did have home sickness each time I went though. When it was time to leave each time, (2002-2005) I cried because I didn’t want to leave.

Maybe find out what local kids are doing this summer so he can make friends? Moving, a hated camp, then a new school? I mean damn, he hasn’t even settled into his own home or neighborhood yet. How can he make friends if he’s not there?

Some kids have issues being away from home and it sounds like you recently moved which would be traumatic for an 11 year old. Maybe if you explain to him that you need to go to work so you need him to try it, for a week at least. Then see how he feels

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Camp was hell…I had to wear a hockey mask n take out 4 or five counselors before sunrise…wait…thats friday the 13th…never mind…camp was ok

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What is the reason he hates and doesn’t want to go?

Goes to camp or cleans the house, sounds like he just wants to stay home to play video games which is what most preteens would choose

Definitely find out why he hates it…
Then if no good excuse or reason get his butt out the door :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Make him go. He needs to socialize. He could make some lifelong friends there.

Let him stay home and don’t allow video games during certain times. Plan things for him to do during the day. I wouldn’t force my kids to do anything they didn’t want to do.

He will end up making a friend, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s tough to force a kid to go somewhere that he doesn’t want to go, however, you should let him feel like he has some say in the matter and let him make some decisions. For example, does he want to go to daycamp to go canoeing and swimming or does he want to go to daycamp and do basketball? Those are his options he’s going to a camp no matter what but he gets to choose what he wants to do. That might help with the battle of not wanting to go, sometimes it helps to give them a little bit

He hasn’t yet been to camp, He may be anxious about going to camp where he doesn’t know anyone but he may find that he likes it as he meets other kids. I might make a deal to give it a try it for 1 month, then have the option to withdraw. It is not healthy to play video games all day for weeks

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Should I make my son go to summer camp?

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Should I make my son go to summer camp?

I wouldnt make mine go. I’ve learned over time that things I think should be fun for them may not be… I may not always understand the whys, but everyone doesn’t gain the same happiness from things I think they should. If technology is his thing maybe find computer workshops for him as to have him interacting. It’s tough cause I always wanted mine to go to a camp I went to, some enjoyed it while others had no interest in it.

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Are there any other summer activities he would be more interested in? Don’t just stop at camp or home, there must be other options. If he does decide to stay home, make it to where he has to be productive and a functioning member of the household. I’d be like, “I don’t care what order you do everything in or if you wait until an hour before I come home. Please have this list completed by ___ time.”

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My girls have severe anxiety so I would never sign them up for something without discussing if they wanted to try it first. They have tried dance, karate, gymnastics, guitar lessons. Always on-a trial basis in case it is not the right fit. The year We signed up for the day camp program they loved it the first week but it got repetitive and boring. Maybe a camp that’s not every day? Compromise works wonders with my teens.

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Id make him go. That’s just me tho. I didnt want to go to a summer camp when I was around his age either and was forced to go; But GUESS WHAT? The place I thought I hated turned out to be fun, because I made friends that also hated being there lol so we clicked immediately, and just hung out with each other the whole time.
So you never know, he may make new friends or actually end up having fun.

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I wouldn’t make my child go personally but that comes from me never having a choice when I was young I had to do 100% what I was told no matter how much I hated going a certain place

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I gave mine a choice since I’m a teacher and I don’t work over the summer. Mine opted to go, but the days they don’t want to go I let them stay home and rest. The rules are no electronics before noon, an hour of reading a day (minimum), academic bridge workbook pages, and at least an hour outside play. They’ve stayed home both Fridays, so far.

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