Camp connections

Real time updates on new platforms mean parents have more ways to hover over their camper.

Both day and overnight programs have upped the number of quick updates that go home.

Photos and videos of campers and their activities sent home throughout the day are easy to forward to long distance friends and relatives, too.

A tightly scheduled summer

Statisticians and social historians continue to say that parents of young children are incorporating unstructured play into their child’s lives.

I wish that were true, but around me, I even see preschoolers jumping between programs, organized activities and camps.

I believe moms and dads will need to be more intentional about raising independent, self-reliant children before schedules loosen up. That surely isn’t happening this summer.

Reshopper moms

The summer garage sale season has never been more spectacular.

As more moms adopt repurposing and simplification as lifestyle elements, the resale economy is alive and well on suburban driveways.

CVS land grab

Have your kids missed the candy, yet?

Your CVS might be one of the locations that is substituting healthier food options for candy near the check-out counter.

The move is part of a bigger focus on wellness products, as the chain tries to position itself as a health retailer.

Several years ago, the CVS move to remove tobacco products earned them goodwill. Will repositioning the sweet stuff have a similar impact?

Homework policy updates?

The school homework policy is sure to be on the agenda for many elementary administrators this summer.

Last year, some schools substituted daily overnight reading for homework assignments in various subjects. That reflects research which says students younger than those in middle school have minimal benefit from homework, but do benefit from daily reading.

Yet the “no homework hassles” have, rather surprisingly, drawn some opposition from parents. When helping with homework, these moms and dads stay in touch with what and how their children are learning.

Reading together or reading aloud to each other seems like a simple solution. Reading often triggers conversations. Perhaps parents who share a book with their child don’t discuss math facts or a science experiment, but reading can trigger conversations about even more significant elements of life than academics.

Disrupted Dinner

Research consistently supports the importance of family mealtime. Benefits include healthier eating and children who learn vocabulary, have fewer behavior problems and lower substance abuse.

But dinnertime disruptions – in the form of sports and/or tech – continue to impact this important time of day.

If kids are active in sports, attendance is mandatory at games and practices. There aren’t a lot of options.

But there are real choices when it comes to tech. Do your kids a favor: turn off the TV and leave the phone in another room. Researchers have documented that even the mere presence of a phone diminishes the quality of conversation.

Devices remain an unwelcome dinner guest.

A snacky season

Are you prepared for the summer snacking season?

The lines between snacks and meals blur in June, July and August when kids are out of school. The challenge is to stock the pantry and frig with fresh, high quality, nutritious foods.

Young summer snackers want to eat immediately and continuously. Help kids avoid filling up with quick-grab processed favorites, by stopping frequently at the produce department and farmers markets.