Oh, autumn…School is back in session. We should have more time on our hands, right? Then why do we feel like we are always rushing?
There has been a lot of press recently about the negative affects of over-scheduling for children. I think we need to consider what over-scheduling does to the parents.
More and more, I am hearing from parents who describe the hours of 3 pm to 9 pm on weekdays as “nonstop.” Spouses describe weekends where they barely see each other because they are too busy shuttling their children to birthday parties, sports and music lessons. One woman admitted that she was glad she had to reduce her children’s activities based on financial limitations because it made her feel less guilty.
Parents usually overburden their time and their bank accounts with good intentions: they believe that giving their children more “opportunities” is part of being a good parent. Unfortunately, the reality is that over-scheduling turns parents into stressed out chauffeurs who observe their kids more than they interact with them. We feel disconnected from spouses, kids and friends because there is no “down time” to relax together.
Even if you can afford to enroll you child in a myriad of activities, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. The next time you are about to enroll your child in another after-school activity, consider the total cost–to your wallet and your sanity. Is it worth it?