Family Time Takes A Backseat-footman

Home-and-Family If it’s Thursday, it must be soccer. Or ballet. Or piano, voice, religious school, jiu-jitsu, or t-ball. Or is that Wednesday? Between school and all the available extracurricular activities today, kids-even very young ones-can seem busier than their working parents. Of course, we all want our children to have every advantage we can give them, and so many of the activities which used to be offered in school have been eliminated by budget cuts. And, gone are the days of kids jumping on their bikes after school and roaming neighborhoods with their friends, until dinnertime-it just doesn’t seem safe, anymore. So we, as parents, feel obligated to provide supervised activities which not only benefit our kids, physically, but also round out their lives in ways we never could have imagined, when we were young. It can be challenging, Michael’s only seven, but he really enjoys soccer, and he’s good at it. And Michelle is nearly six, but all her friends are taking ballet, and she feels left out, if she doesn’t get to dance, too. But soccer’s on one side of town, ballet’s on the other, karate’s across the river, and the only really good gymnastic instructor for kids is in the next county. When does it all become too much, for a family? One sure sign that you’re all too busy is lack of family time. When after-school activities prevent a family from ever eating together, or spending quality time together, then it’s time to cut back. Parents who spend more time chauffering their kids than talking with them at the dinner table eventually find themselves disconnected from their children’s emotional growth. And, when one parent is driving to and from swim practice, while the other is doing the laundry, and the only chance to eat is at a drive-thru restaurant, the lack of family contact can create stresses that build slowly, but surely. Another sign that your kids may be getting too much of too many good things is a decline in their grades at school. Sometimes, we keep our kids so busy that they’re just too tired for homework and studying. Then, there’s the financial cost. For every activity, there’s the enrollment fee, the cost of uniforms, the gasoline required to get there. When parents find themselves struggling to find the dollars to pay for it all, it’s time to re-assess. Set some rules: One sport a season, or one arts activity at a time, is plenty for any child. Balance activities between children, so that no one is busier than the rest. Schedule family time, even if it means cutting out other activities. Make schoolwork the number-one priority, and other activities a reward for good grades. One thing many parents today have forgotten is the importance of free time. Because our lives are so busy, we imagine that teaching our kids to remain constantly active is a lesson that will help them cope with adulthood. We forget that, sometimes, the best part of being a kid is not having to do anything at all. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: