dad and daughterDuring their elementary school years, children learn rapidly, becoming much more aware of the world around them. They begin to see things differently and ask questions about who they are, where they came from, and why things are as they are. During this time, children tend to see their parents as guides, teachers, and heroes. They start to understand that parents protect and nurture them. Ideally, during this period, we learn how to talk with our children more than at them. A strong relationship is based on our ability to ask open-ended questions that help our children think and move beyond simple yes or no responses. During these years, we strive to invite our children to accept challenges and opportunities, celebrate accomplishments, and face fears.

We have designed the YMCA Adventure Guides/Princesses program to assist you and your child on your journey of discovery. While activities with the whole family are important, we see tremendous value in supporting and strengthening the ability of a parent and his or her child to communicate at an early age in ways that are caring, honest, respectful, and responsible. We seek to encourage you as a parent to "get to know your kid while your kid is still a kid."

For these reasons, we have designed the program for one parent and one child to participate together for most activities. If this dynamic is not practical for your family or others in your group, be flexible and work with your YMCA leaders to develop a structure within the program that works for you.


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