Being a manager and parent at a kids camp
What to do with my son in the summer holidays? Well, surely I should be signing him up to the kids camp at XUK? After all I am the manager!
Well, let's just pause there for a moment...
The advantages of not having to call the grandparents, organise endless play-dates and worry that he is simply bored are certainly attractive.Yet, is it fair to bring him to work where he's the 'manager's son' and what that label may bring?We also are not local to the area, so he himself was anxious about not knowing anyone.
Then there's the conflict of being both a parent and a manager at a kids camp!What if he has misbehaved (how embarrassing?), what if he didn't like the activities (how disappointing!) and what if he hated the staff (arghhh!)?Would all these fears be realised and what would parents, staff and others think if they were!?
So I ignored all the worries and he went to kids camp for a week and loved it!
The range of activities, the attentive staff and friendly campers were just some of the wonderful experiences he encountered.Why was I so worried!? XUK run safe, fun and fantastic kids camps!The day camp in London is a busy place and we are not local. But my son was made to feel so welcome without any prodding from me!XUK Day is a naturally warm, cosy environment for children to be themselves, relax and be busy with both the familiar and not so.My son had his favourites, but this is only natural - he prefers drama to sport and has different tastes to others. This is pretty normal!There were a few trials and tribulations, but this was nothing unfamiliar and I trusted the staff to do the right thing - there were no favouritism or over-attentiveness because of who he was.Perhaps the most challenging thing to cope with was...me!
The temptation to keep 'popping in' to see how my son was doing was there. The temptation to quiz staff about my son was also prevalent.The staff are so well trained with plenty of experience and know how that if there was a problem, I would trust them to tell me.What was so lovely was the feedback each day, unprompted, about how my son was getting along.It reassured me that other parents and their children would be receiving the same caring approach.
Sending your child to a kids camp is partly about giving them greater independence and letting them grow.So, far better for Daddy to butt out no matter how hard this was to do!Yes, my son did struggle with the long days, waiting for his Dad to close up or finish a call to a parent.But seeing your Dad at work, enjoying what he does and taking pride in his work is surely a great thing. I'd rather this than he witnessed the opposite!
So would I bring my son to work again?! Absolutely.