Right now your children might be young and you think (hopefully to yourself) that they’ll accomplish anything they set their mind to. Or maybe your kids are teenagers and your neighbor told you that their child didn’t blossom until they were 27 or 28 years old thus giving you a little piece of hope. Or maybe your kid is 20, has dropped out of community college for the third time (in three attempts), lives in your basement, plays Black Ops all day, and will look for a job “tomorrow” (after he has his kill streak up to 70).
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but…the hard sad fact is that most likely your kids are losers and will be living in your basement for the rest of their lives. Oh sure, they’ll move out for a year or maybe two, but they’ll be back…or will they?
Let me introduce the concept of camping and how it can save you from having your children live with you forever. Camping is where middle class people go out to the local state park and pretend to be homeless for a few days. We like to cook our meals on a propane cook stove, wash our dishes in three bins, and use disposable paper plates (screw the environment). We sleep on an air mattress and enjoy the light cotton sheets that cover us on a warm summer night. We throw up a nice tarp and call it our outdoor living room/dining room/kitchen.
We set up a fairly well stocked kitchen, fill up some coolers with ice, and tell ourselves that camping is fun and easy. Once we are out roughing it out in the wilderness of the State Park (with power hook ups, clean water, and a flush toilet a few steps away), we forget that we are camping. We are on vacation and that we have time to be relaxing under the summer sun.
But will your loser children learn anything from your summer camping experiences? Probably not. They are too busy running around with their friends, sun block smeared across their faces, and rat nests for a hairstyle. They’ll fling themselves into their summer sleeping bags (which are worthless during the other three seasons) and sleep a peaceful night’s sleep.
This is one of those teachable moments you always hear about from other parents brag about but you never get to do because you are too busy yelling at your kids.
By taking your children camping, you are teaching them that camping is a possible housing solution in their near future. The day will come when you will want to kick them out. It might be a few weeks later or a few years later, but the day will come.
And this is a very good thing! Once they reach the ripe old age of 18 or 30 and don’t plan to do anything with their lives, you can give them the ultimatum: do something or move out! Heck, it’s your house and your parents didn’t give you a free ride to be a slacker, why should you treat your children any different?
With their summer camping experience under their belt, they will think that they are prepared for the real world. Kick those leeches to the curb, have those children enjoy all four seasons that this great planet offers us (unless you live near the Equator or Australia or maybe South America). Allow your children the pleasure of sleeping in an igloo where the temperature is just above freezing and the drip drop of the melting snow roof falls on their thin, inadequate summer sleeping bag. Then they can realize their boots are frozen because they forgot to keep them inside their sleeping bag. Now they have to push their wet socks inside their frozen boots. Has the fun started yet?
Imagine the joy your children can experience camping in the torrential downpour of a spring rainstorm. Everything they own is soaked with the constant rain and there is no place dry in their tent site. Nowhere to hang up the soggy towel to dry it out, everything they own is wet and damp.
And where do they plug in their Xbox and TV? Grand Theft Auto V is going to play itself! Do they run the power cord from the bathroom to their tent? Oh, the problem solving they’ll have to do!
What about showers and personal hygiene? No more 20 minute showers when you have to put in a $1 for a 3 minute shower at the state park.
Where will they wash and dry their clothes? What happens when the sleeping bag gets a little stinky?
Either your children will quickly learn that this isn’t the lifestyle they want and will do anything to live back indoors OR they will decide that this lifestyle isn’t that bad and they like living in a tent for the rest of their life. Either way, you’ll be taking the unknown part of your child’s future housing out of their destiny.
Add another “Win” for parenthood in your scoreboard for Parents!
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