Kids Night Out
Parents who have taken advantage of Kids Night Out probably will tell you that it is one of the more valuable programs offered at Romp n’ Roll. And it is highly likely they will tell you how valuable it is for them to have a free evening to do everything from getting chores done without distraction to reinvigorating romance by having a regular date night with their spouses.
However, the enormous value for the children should not be overlooked. Some of my fondest memories from middle childhood and adolescence involve things like sleepovers at a friend’s house and going away to summer camp. But I also remember a small number of other kids being extremely upset in these situations, and I could never understand why they would rather go home than participate in all the fun the rest of us were having.
I now know that their distress was usually derived from a lack of experience. In the old days when extended family usually lived nearby and close-knit neighborhoods were common, children routinely spent a lot of time out of their own homes and away from their parents from a very early age. Consequently, as older children and adolescents, a full night or even a few weeks away was not intimidating.
Today, opportunities to gain that sort of experience are not necessarily easy to come by. So consider giving your little one the chance to lay the groundwork necessary to fully enjoy all sorts of things in the years ahead. In addition to the fun he will be having at the time, Kids Night Out will provide him with solid preparation for some great slumber parties in the future.
Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Mike”) is a member of the management team at Romp n’ Roll. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also held a position as a researcher with the Harvard Preschool Project. He may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.