No time for vacation

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 The summer programmes, which offer a wide range of activities from adventure sports to conventional dance, music and theatre camps, are thronged by kids. The vacation, an otherwise laid-back fun affair, turns into a routine driven competitive affair. This rush to put one’s kid into some kind of a summer programme is a recent phenomenon, resulting in a sudden increase in demand for summer programmes. Metrolife asked parents in the City why they choose to send their kids to summer camps in the first place? Isn’t the joy of a holiday savoured better when kids are just left to themselves without the burden of a camp?

Suchitra Ramakanth
Professional

“Kids tend to watch TV all day long during vacations. Summer camps are meant to avoid TV addiction. I usually send my daughter to two or three hour long summer programmes which mainly involve painting or drawing classes. Anything beyond that does not make sense, as then it becomes as good as school. Vacation is the only time when kids get to play for as long as they want and a cumbersome summer programme will just kill the joy of vacations. My daughter is pretty young. So I usually avoid sending her to camps that include adventure sports like rock climbing or even swimming and skating for instance.”

Ranjini
Housewife


“At summer camps, children get to mingle with kids from other schools and it is great exposure. My daughter is pretty old for a summer camp now but a couple of years ago, the drama and dance summer camps she attended helped shape her personality. However, it is also the responsibility of the parents to choose the right summer camp. Ideally, the parents should go to the camp for a day or two to assess the environment there. If the summer camp offers activities that might involve risks, the parents need to make sure that all safety norms are maintained and there are enough people to look after the kids.”

Murali N R
Finance executive

“My daughter is six-years-old and she goes to a basketball camp every morning. I heard about the camp through a friend. The whole idea of sending her to a camp was to ensure that there is some physical activity during summers. They also had swimming classes but I was too scared to send her as they don’t allow parents to come and watch. Their argument was that the presence of a parent is a distraction to the child. Though I agree with it,  I am not comfortable with the idea of me not being there. Summer camps are to make sure that your child is occupied and has a productive holiday.”

Sheela T S
Government employee

“I don’t really think summer camps are necessary. The two-month-vacation that kids get are essential for them to break the monotony of a routine. Sending them to summer camps  during a time when they should be just allowed to develop their own interests, does not make sense. Kids need to be able to make the most of their vacation and indulge in simple things which are the true essence of
childhood. Depriving them of it is unfair. When I was a child, holidays were just meant for pure uninhibited fun with nothing on our minds. That is exactly how we need to treat the time our kids get.”

Sujith C
HR executive


“Many of my friends send their kids to summer camps because both of them work and there is no one at home to look after the children. Also, parents are too used to their kids being away for a stipulated period of time. They are so used to the routine that in order to keep that going even during holidays, kids are packed off to summer camps. People don’t have the patience to spend time with their kids anymore. Both parents being in equally demanding jobs are to be blamed sometimes.”

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