Busy Kids?

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September is my least favorite month of the year, it’s when we gear up for the hectic pace of the year. The fall weather brings sadness to certain members of our family, mainly myself because I have to wear socks and complain often about it.

Of course the first big event in September was the first day of school. This year specifically the first day was a milestone because our youngest went to Grade 1 which means she attends school full-time. To say that she was excited would be an understatement, Sydney who is going into Grade 3 just wasn’t feelin it as much. To appease her I allowed her to dress herself, frankly it was a mild form of torture…check out her socks!

First Day of School

 This week brought the beginning of the kids sports, Chelsea is in love with gymnastics and her squeals could be heard throughout Ontario when I told her to get ready to go.

Bridge at gymnastics

Sydney has chosen Judo this year, last night was her first class and typically she was quiet and observant. She didn’t say much about the experience until we were home, then she raved to her sister about being taught to throw a bigger student. She insisted on sleeping in the judogi (look at me using the proper terminology for the uniform).

Judo

One key thing about afterschool sports/activities which I don’t think we parents talk about enough is over scheduling our children. We all would like to give our children every opportunity to experience life and gain skills whenever possible. What I think this has translated into is a sort of pressure to enroll you child in every activity possible.

How many times have you heard a parent talking about the number of activities their children are involved in and you wonder when the kid has a chance to unwind? The parent’s who I hear doing this have a sense of pride evident in their tone, pride is a great thing but how many of them are actually proud of being that “soccer Mom” or “hockey Dad”? Are they living through their children with unrealistic expectations?

It’s an easy trap to fall into, nowadays we have the opportunity to enroll our children into every activity known to man and it pulls on our heartstrings when they beg for “just one more activity.” It’s up to us as parents to ensure that the child’s life has a balance between school work, play and sports.

Here’s a hint: if you have your child booked in for an activity every night of the week with little time for relaxation and schoolwork, perhaps it’s time to weigh your options. How much time are you spending together as a family, with no TV, no internet….just together?

Personally we have decided on one activity per child per season. This allows us to ensure the kids have enough rest and downtime to be alert at school. Our primary focus is family time together and school work, the sports are wonderful for building their skills and talents but must not interfere.

So how about you, are you ready for the busier time of year?

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Comments

  1. Gwen says

    I read a similar article in last month’s Focus on the Family magazine called Life on the Wheel. He compares the busyness of our kids to gerbils running on a wheel and cautions us as parents not to overschedule our kids. Each year, we seem to add “just one more thing” but before we know it we are running around like crazy! This year our family cut back on a couple of after school commitments in the hopes of having more together time at home. For the article, see: http://www.thrivingfamily.ca/Features/Magazine/2011/overscheduled-kids-and-busy-families.aspx

  2. Pbpdesigns says

    My older sister has 2 children and she is always running here or there with one or both of them. Also, complaining when the schedules conflict, but guess who set those schedules? Guess who booked her kids for every conceivable activity? I’m tired of hearing her complain that she doesn’t have time to breathe when she’s the one who got them that way. I think it’s smart to limit to one or two things per child.

  3. says

    My mom had a “one activity at a time” rule for us which I’m looking forward to imposing on my children as well. It cut costs, discouraged quitting and let us live life.

    Right now, we’re doing swim lessons. End of story.

  4. says

    Nope… I am not ready for the busier time of year? I’m retired and the word busy is not in my vocabulary :-)

    God bless and have a nice day :-)

    ~Ron

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