Soccer practice. Dancing. Gymnastics. Piano. How many activities are your kids involved in? More importantly, how many different practices and games are you rushing off to each and every week? Just thinking about it probably makes your head spin.
Have you ever thought of “slow parenting”? Have you actually ever heard of “slow parenting”? I can tell you I hadn’t until I read a recent Boston Globe article. Basically slow parenting means not overscheduling your kids so they and you are not running around like you’re on fire. It means letting them (and you) have time to just hang out. It means spending time playing outside, going to the beach, and doing loads of other things that don’t require practices and recitals.
Crazy, I know.
But, in this case crazy is good. At least I think so.
I’ve heard so many parents lately complaining, or possible even bragging about, how many different activities they’re bouncing to and from seven days a week. Soccer, dancing, gymnastics, softball, piano…you name it and they’re kid is into it.
Or are they really?
Are we forcing our kids to get into everything?
I’m all for letting kids try things out to figure out where their true passions lie. But, I think as parents we need to draw the line for them and for our own sanity. We don’t need to spend our weekends running from activity to activity. It’s okay to have some down time.
My five-year-old daughter already comes home from school with fliers for all kinds of activities. Of course, she wants to do them all. But, I was the “mean” Mom who told her to pick two.
So, we settled on soccer and Girl Scouts. Soccer only has one practice and one game a week. So, that’s only a two-hour commitment. Girl Scouts is once a week which equals one hour. All in all, we’re only committed to activities three hours a week. That still leaves plenty of time for play and for Mommy to take a breath.
I know as my younger daughter gets older juggling both girls’ activities is going to be more challenging. But, I’m going to try to stick with the “two rule”. They can change their two activities each season if need be. But, I don’t think my wallet or my sanity can handle much more.
When it comes to activities it should be quality over quantity. There’s nothing wrong with letting your child try new things. But, once they find a couple of activities they truly enjoy, let them excel in those rather then have them dipping into five others.