ARE KIDS BEING OVER SCHEDULED?
Overheard the other day from one of the teenage grandchildren, “I wish I had the time to read like he does.” Wow, that was eye opening. While discussing it further with him, he gave me a rundown of his schedule. He has school, extracurricular activities at school, his select sports team and all associated travel and practices the team demands. Reading time has become what is required for school. Reading for enjoyment is a thing of the past.
I might expect to have that happen in a college age person or one who has already entered the workforce. Hearing it from one so young wasn’t what I expected. A common theme now seems to be that if your children are kept busy enough with a variety of activities that they won’t become “that kid.” The kid that gets into trouble.
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Kids still need some time to be kids. Some time that isn’t packed full of extracurricular activities. Time that they can curl up in a comfy chair with a good book. Time to explore a local nature walk. Time to hammer together their first crude version of a fort or treehouse. Time to play with trucks or dolls. Time for whatever activity their imaginations dream up.
I see parents that have their child enrolled in multiple activities at the same time. This often results in the child being scheduled every night of the week from shortly after school gets out until dinnertime or later into the evening. Then they still have dinner, homework and showers to get done before getting any sleep.
This is just one person’s opinion but maybe, just maybe, one outside activity per season is sufficient? Would that still allow a child time to play, explore, use their imagination and enjoy some free time to just be a kid? They have years and years as adults when they’ll be hard pressed to find downtime. Work and raising a family will fill their days. Let’s not rob them of their few years of freedom to be kids.