Ready, Set, GO….are you over-scheduling your kids?
Guest Blogger: Bridgette of Experimental Mommy
Do you ever look at your daily schedule and wonder how you manage it all? How will you get the kids to school, accomplish your daily routine (whether it be inside or outside the home), run to extracurricular activities, make dinner, help with homework and somehow manage to spend some real quality time with your family? It makes me exhausted just thinking about it!
Is your life overscheduled? Are your kids rushed all the time? I have often wondered if, by trying to be the best Mom possible, I have caused more commotion than necessary to achieve the best quality of life for my kids. I want them to be smart, kind, generous and confident women and I strive to give them all the tools they need to be successful. But at what cost? After viewing Jen and Barb’s latest video with family coach and author, Timothy Smith, I decided to tackle the question, “Do my kids need more downtime?”
I remember when I was a kid (many years ago), after school I had time to unwind on our sofa and watch “The Cosby Show” before beginning my homework. Schoolwork was always important to me, so I took my time and studied hard, but I never remember studying for hours until I reached college. My oldest daughter is only in the first grade and I am already shocked by the level of homework and number of school activities available to her. That being said, my oldest daughter thrives on a tight schedule. She likes the structure of directed activity and doesn’t do well with boredom. She wants to sign up for everything! So far, I have allowed her to do many activities such as Daisy Scouts, gymnastics and dance classes all of which she loves. She is a very social child and is doing well with her studies and activities. Is she busy? Sure. Overscheduled? Not for her personality.
I think it is important, as Timothy Smith pointed out in the video, to focus your efforts in studying your children to determine the best activity level for them. My youngest daughter is much more of a “free thinker” at her young age of 4. She loves independent and creative play. I have yet to hear her say, “I’m bored.” She attends one dance class a week and is very content with the level of activity. Is she busy? Not really. Is she underscheduled? Not for her personality.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think group activities are an important part of growing up. Working as a team, sharing, learning to be a gracious winner and an even better loser are skills needed throughout life. As the kids grow older, I will do my best to guide them to activities best suited for their very different personalities. But, we will always end the night together with a little downtime. Time for us to be a family. Time to share the events of the day. Time to connect.
Do you feel like your kids could use a little more downtime?