In today’s busy world it is hard to know what kind of schedule is most appropriate for your children. For parents the daily schedule can become easily overwhelming. The pressure to juggle work, relationships, chores, and kids schedules has a tendency for mom and dad to translate that busy schedule to their children.
Unstructured activities are no longer looked upon or appreciated the way that they once were. Some parents seem unstructured times of the day as opportunities to be lazy or to simply sit around and watch television. So, instead parents schedule their children’s days. Soccer practice after school on Mondays, play practice on Tuesday, etc. Although there is nothing wrong with participating in these activities, over scheduling your children will not only ware them out, but it prohibits them from developing necessary skills of creativity and innovation. When every moment is scheduled, there is no room for spontaneity or for a child to be carefree.
For some families it is not because of the parents that a child becomes too busy, but it is the child himself that feels like he must be involved in all available activities. There could be many reasons for why your child feels this way. Perhaps your child does not want to feel left out of any activities, perhaps your child wants to spend time doing the things his friends are doing, or perhaps there is pressure to be in certain groups for reasons of popularity or peer pressure. Older children may feel like in order to be a good candidate for college that they must boost their extracurricular activities and show their involvement in diverse groups.
Many times a child falls into a schedule that is too demanding for them for a combination of reasons. Parents may want their children to experience new things and therefore enroll them in clubs. However admirable these intentions, you can see how over zealous attempts to acclimate your children to everything that took you as an adult a lifetime to discover is simply unfair.
Of course as a parent you only want what is best for your children and may honestly not realize when you are encouraging a schedule that is too busy. Ensure that your kids are not too busy by avoiding any and all tendencies to “keep up with the Jones’.