We’ve all seen, heard, or read how we parents are overscheduling our kids to the point of overtired tantrums and permanent psychological damage, had the “but they need time to just be kids” thrust down our throats and ensured our kids will end up emotionally retarded or disturbed should we continue on this path of scheduling every moment of our children’s days.
The reverse, of course, is we’ve also heard how children are not doing enough, not up to scratch in relation to their fine and gross motor skills, are becoming obese, lazy and/or selfish brats, don’t have enough social skills, negotiating skills or coordination, can’t stand up for themselves/become bullies if they don’t have enough activities scheduled into their little lives.
Whilst it is far too easy to get caught up in the wave of Whatever The Latest Research Says and that which those you hang with are also swept up in, placing even greater pressure on your already confused mind and weekly schedule, it isn’t as simple as whether you’re enrolling your kids into too many extra curricular activities, or leaving them to their own devices.
Yes, generally, children need time to sit down and eat properly, to rest, to do their homework with reasonable times in which to do it and not be rushing from one place to another constantly.
So do you, by the way.
Children also need to understand, generally, time frames, commitments, goal setting and achieving, listening to instructions from other adults, learning that other adults have different personalities and, in some cases, to get off their arses and burn off some energy so they have the opportunity for a decent sleep.
Where the whole general rhetoric gets messy is when there are great pressures to enrol your kids in all manner of activity that does not allow them time to eat, sleep, do homework and to rest; and where their every moment is scheduled, whether it’s in the home or an extra curricular activity, and they don’t get the opportunity to just