Our lives do seem to be getting busier by the minute, so I loved reading a recent article in the New York Times titled “The Busy Trap,” which reminds everyone to take time to stop and smell the proverbial roses. I struggle in my own life to “just say no” to commitments and demands on my time, and the same goes for my kids. I confess, I have a tendency to want to see them explore everything, but I swear I mean well. Since I don’t want my kids to miss out on any opportunities, this can lead to over scheduling!
When does over scheduling your kids become a problem?
This article made light of the fact that everybody claims to be busy, and being busy is a choice just like choosing to sit in a traffic jam rather than a meadow. Overscheduled kids are actually missing out because they don’t get that idleness that is really necessary for them to explore the world, do things on their own, and discover their own hobbies.
I totally agree with the writer of this article that we would all have a much richer and fulfilled experience if we could cut down on the activities and just take some more time to appreciate the little things. I have to admit that I, like many parents out there, fall into the trap of over scheduling my kids because I’m afraid that they will miss out on something if I don’t. I want to give my children as much exposure to activities as I can, so I have them involved in piano lessons, chorus, religion-you name it. If someone puts together a sports team or a class, I’ll want my children to join just for the sake of not missing out on anything. Now that some of my children are older, I can tell that it’s getting to them. They’ll come home from practice, rush through dinner, practice their spelling words, and want to relax. I can see sometimes that they would rather bum around and play with their toys, which is why I try to give them 1-2 days without any activities at all. On the weekend, other than sports, I’ll let my children relax and do nothing at all.
I know that time management for kids is a big issue for parents, so how do you manage your child’s schedule? Can you tell when enough is enough? If you have any advice for an over scheduler, please share it in the comments below!