August 10, 2016
Every year it seems as though summer is over as quickly as it begins. No sooner are we making beach plans and packing for summer camp and we begin to plan for the upcoming school year. The nights begin to become slightly cooler and the stores become inundated with back to school sales and shoppers anxious to take advantage of tax free weekends. Some children cannot wait for the school year to begin; others dread it. Their parents often vacillate between the two.
Whatever the season, life with children is busy and full- life with multiple children even more so. Parents often relay that they feel like chauffeurs, transporting children from activity to activity, practice to practice, recital to recital. This is especially true in the summer when children have 10 weeks of days to fill and parents are often working, making child care difficult and expensive. It takes an exorbitant amount of time, energy, money (and gas!) to keep up with a child’s activities and it can be a real challenge for parents to find the time, energy, money (and gas!) to make it all work. But somehow they do. The question becomes, how and why do they do it? Quite simply, they believe it is worth it.
Getting kids involved in activities exposes them to opportunities to learn, grow, develop positive relationships and express themselves physically, emotionally and creatively. In most cases, the activity itself is incidental. The true benefits come from the structure of the activity which teaches children about commitment. The newness encourages vulnerability and positive risk-taking. The growth in skills and knowledge increases self-esteem and self-efficacy. The relationships with positive adults and peers encourage healthy relationship development with others. All of these benefits (and others) are in addition to the physical and/or academic skills learned through the activity itself.
Parents know all this. It’s what helps them wake up in the morning when their daughter needs to be at the rink before the sun is up. It’s what gets them to the concert later in the evening when the baby is fussy and the dinner is burnt. It’s what inspires them to continue to sacrifice for the sake of their children, a sacrifice most children will not understand but one from which they will benefit for the rest of their lives.
Please continue to help us support these families as they do all they can to provide the best opportunities for their children. The reality is money plays an important role in children’s ability to participate in activities and the financial support of Our Military Kids is necessary to continue to make these opportunities possible.
Thank you for your continued investment in the future of our military children.