Monthly Archives: May 2013

Summer Camp and Your Daughter

Summer Camp and Your Daughter

Summer Camp and Your DaughterI only attended one overnight camp when I was a teenager and it wasn’t the best of experiences.  We seemed to spend more time cleaning the facilities than having fun, not my idea of how to spend camp time.  When our kids were growing up we looked for camps that would teach them new skills (outdoor cooking at Boy Scout camp, how to dunk at basketball camp) plus how to manage themselves away from home.

These days there seems to be a dizzying choice of different summer camps.  Everything from horse riding to academics, to computers and just old fashioned out door camping with canoe rides included.  No matter which you choose for your daughter, there are some common ways you can help her prepare to spend time away from home on her own.

The Scout motto is to be prepared and there are some obvious things your daughter needs in her suitcase for camp like enough underwear, sunblock and deodorant to last the week.  Think about the less obvious things though.  We always included a list of family addresses, stamps, envelopes and some writing paper in our daughter’s camp essentials.  It was a good way for her to stay in touch without email or cell phone texting.

Writing letters is also a great way for you to stay in touch.  Mail a letter to your daughter at camp a few days before she leaves.  She will have a nice letter from home soon after she arrives which may help if she is feeling homesick.

If your daughter is attending a nature camp, find some plant and bird books about the camp location and help her learn to identify some common species that she will see at camp.  If she is attending camp outside of your local area, looking at a map and learning about the towns or cities near the camp location will help her be ready for being in new surroundings.  And include a disposable camera in her supplies so she can take pictures.

Having your daughter spend a night or two away from home at a friends house or with relatives before she goes to camp is a good way to help her practice being away from home.  She will gain a little confidence and so will you that she is ready to be away for a longer stretch of time.

And most importantly at the tween girl age, if she has started her menstrual period already, track with a calendar her last cycle to estimate if her next period will start at camp.  Pack her some emergency supplies and make sure she knows where to get more from the camp office, store, or nurse.  If she hasn’t started her period yet, assume she might while she is away so be sure she knows how to handle it so it isn’t a surprise or inconvenience.

Helping your daughter be prepared for summer camp will ensure she enjoys the experience even more and will let her create lots of happy memories to share with you when she gets home.


Celebrating Memorial Day with Your Children

Celebrating Memorial Day with Your Children

Our younger son Dylan was involved in Boy Scouts for many years.  One of the traditions his troop did every year was to place flags at the gravestones of fallen soldiers at a cemetery near our home.  The troop carried out this task every year for Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  I always tried to go with Dylan and his troop because I feel it is important to honor those who have served our country in the military.

With Memorial Day being the official kick off to summer and a huge shopping weekend, it is easy to forget what the holiday is all about.  The day was originally known as Decoration Day – a day to decorate the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers killed during the Civil War.  By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in military service.

Celebrating Memorial Day in the traditional way of honoring these fallen soldiers is a good way to teach your children about the value of service.  Here are some ideas on how to celebrate the holiday with your children:

1. Many of us live near national cemeteries that usually have formal ceremonies on Memorial Day.  Local cemeteries may also have an event planned for the day, check the events calendar in your local newspaper and plan on making it a family outing.

2. Attend a parade and bring along an American flag to wave.  Before you go explain the different branches of the military to your kids, as they’ll most likely see soldiers, sailors and Marines during the parade.

3. Check out some kid-friendly books from the library about American history and talk about the various ways the military has protected our country throughout the history of the United States.  We are lucky to live near the Flying Heritage Collection where historic military aircraft are displayed.  Perhaps there is a similar museum near you that your children would enjoy.

And lastly, remember to fly the American flag on Memorial Day in honor of those who have fallen in the service of our country.

Three Favorite Parenting Blogs

Three Favorite Parenting Blogs

Three Favorite Parening Blogs by Dot Girl ProductsWhen our children were born, the internet did not exist (our youngest is 21 years old).  When we needed advice on parenting we turned to our parents and my sister-in-law whose first born son is the oldest cousin.  We also relied heavily on books by T. Berry Brazelton.  Now of course the Information Age confronts us at every turn and there must be at least a million mom and dad blogs for parents to turn to for advice if grandma is not available.

To help Dot Girl readers find the best blogs for parenting advice and in honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I would list the blogs we would recommend to our children, should they ever decide to have their own children.  This list is in no particular order.

The Dad Man

The Dad Man is Joe Kelly – a father, author, speaker, blogger, activist and consultant.  He offers a blog, books and resources to help Dads get through those all important parenting years.  Pay particular attention to the Dads & Daughters® section of his website.  This section is what makes him one of our favorites.  He also has a book with the same title.

Lisa Belkin

I follow Lisa on Facebook and am always glad that I do. Lisa blogs for the Huffington Post and offers insightful commentary about today’s modern parenting dilemmas.  She is not afraid to offer differing opinions when she sees another article that she doesn’t consider right.  Reading Lisa reminds you that you are not alone in this great parenting world.


This site is a little edgy but always honest.  It’s not just one blogger, it is a group of bloggers and their ‘About Us’ page says it all – “Mommyish writers take parenting seriously. But we don’t take ourselves seriously. We care about the realities of parenting today, and combine a thirst for the latest parenting news and trends with a tongue in cheek approach to child rearing”.  I would highly recommend this blog to those who want to stay in touch with what is happening in the ‘real’ parenting world.

I’m sure our readers have their favorite mom and dad blogs too.  Please be sure to leave links in the comments and help other parents find good advice on the internet.