Saturday, April 2, 2011

Guilty of Over-scheduling

When I think back on the years when my teens were younger; I realize that I was guilty of over-scheduling. There was ballet and soccer, basketball and piano, saxaphone and tennis, chess and swimming and others in between.  I was young and influenced by what other parents were doing with their children. I thought that if I kept them busy they'll be happy. I eventually learned that my kids did not need to be kept busy to be happy.

Over-scheduling was so stressful on me that I became resentful and angry when the kiddies were reluctant to participate. I don't do the over scheduling anymore. I do activities that are convenient and fit into the family schedule. It's never perfect, but it works for now. I dont feel guilty because saying no is liberating and it's important for this mum to maintain sanity.  Balancing the activities of three kids is no easy task so it's very important to be fair, but smart.

At this stage in my life, I must do what's convenient. I have a six year old who does not need to do activities all the way across town because it may be highly recommended and reputable. He'll be very happy participating in activities around the corner and down the street from our home. As he gets older, if he loves the activity and requires a greater challenge, we'll review and make a decision then. For now, he's local... very local and will not be participating in more than two (2) activities per season.

My advise to parents who are conflicted with kiddie activities:
Don't compete with other parents because all kids are different.
Do what works for your family.
Do encourage participation in different activities(just not all at once).
Do find out which activity your child loves.
Don't be alarmed if he stops loving it.
Do include your partner or spouse in the decision. Kid activities should be a family decision.

Now that camp season is approaching and activities are in abundance; be prepared, get all involved, embrace the journey and be in balance.

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