What Your Kids' Summer Plans Say About Your Parenting Style

girl climbing tree

Tiger moms. Helicopter moms. Free-range moms. Ever wonder where you fall on the range of parenting types? It turns out how your children are spending their summer vacations could be the key to figuring it all out.

Whether they're holed up at camp or spacing out with video games, what you've got in store for the kids this summer says a whole lot about the kind of mom you are:


They're either at a playdate or in the back of your minivan, being shuttled to the next water park, with ice cream dripping down their cheeks ... because summer is for the children to have fun! We don't need to see the nail marks in your hands to know you're a martyr mom. The summer is indeed a fun time for kids, but it's OK to just tell them to go make their own fun once in awhile. Who knows, you might even find five seconds to do something for YOU.

They're somewhere. You're not really sure. Maybe climbing a tree or splashing in a brook? Oh, hello free-range mama! Lenore Skenazy is proud of you and your '70s-style parenting. But you might want to take those lawn darts away from the kids before someone loses an eye. Trips to the ER are such a bore.

They're at sleepaway camp ... for the whole summer. If a week or two of camp can help them build confidence, imagine what a whole summer can do? Says every cold-fish mom out there. A little tip? That invitation to parents' weekend isn't just a suggestion.

They're in advanced math classes all day on Mondays and Wednesdays; Mandarin and Spanish on Tuesdays and Thursdays; Fridays are split between leadership training and debate; and on Saturdays and Sundays, they swim under the direction of a former Olympian. Do you have Amy Chua on speed dial, tiger mama? You may want to dial the dictatorship back just a wee bit. Maybe let them sleep past 5 a.m. one day a week?

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They're dressed all in vintage duds and munching on kale chips on the way to day camp, where they'll learn to make cheese and take better Instagram photos. No doubt about it; you're a hipster mom, and we raise a reusable bag of organic veggie puffs in your direction.

They're on the couch, playing video games, where they've been since school let out. Sometimes they get up and walk to the fridge. The kids call you the cool mom, but the rest of the world just calls you lazy. To-may-to. To-mah-to, right?

They're driving you up the walls, and you're counting down the days until summer vacation is over. Welcome to normal, everyday motherhood! But hey, at least you're not alone in your insanity!

What are YOUR kids doing this summer? And what about YOU?


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