ARE FAMILIES JUST TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH THESE DAYS?
I do think a lot of families are trying to do too much. In my family, I told my kids they could have one extracurricular activity at a time. As they got older and there was opportunity for carpooling, they could add to that. Although I think organized sports and activities are very good, I also think they can stifle creativity. In general, kids don’t learn how to work out stuff on their own.
I think something needs to be said about schedule clutter— our perceived need to overbook our kids’ lives with events and activities because we want them to be well- rounded human beings. If you have so much going on that you feel you’re living minute- by- minute and you’re worrying about missing engagements, it might be time to think about scaling back some activities.
Parents are trying so hard to be good parents; that’s where the overbooking comes in. Your child does not have to be in an organized activity every single night and every single weekend. This is part of where I see the stress occurring. If you want to keep that kind of activity schedule, you have to delegate or hire out the rest of the stuff that needs to get done around the house. For some crazy reason, there is this unwritten rule that the female is supposed to be doing all the household stuff, but everyone should be helping out.
Talk to your children about their activities. Just because they’re enrolled in dance class doesn’t mean they want to be there. Talk to them and limit them to the activities that interest them most.