When is More Enough?

activity-childhoodMy oldest is getting to the age where it’s time for those decisions about activities. When it comes to parenting even something like this that I thought would be so simple I have found there is even quite a debate on this. I always just thought activities and involvement were good so end of story, but many things lately have been brought to my attention about parenting kids and their involvement in activities.

Everything in our modern day parenting world appears to be a competitive race to the finish line. However, I think we’re all a little confused what’s the prize when we cross the line. Some would even argue that as we get closer to the end of the line, it gets pushed further away with this idea of more. This idea that more is better. More sports, more academic extracurricular activities, more advanced classes. I guess if we overcrowd their childhood schedules with sports, music lessons, and academic camps and classes, we’re preparing them for the never ending demand of more when they enter the workforce or even parenthood.

Supposedly if our kid can balance music lessons, a few sports, and a load of challenging classes they’re “better”.  Forget the idea that they’re headed towards burnout and frustrations from being overwhelmed that can lead to multiple psychological disorders.  Lately learning as a child whether through sports, music and arts, academic or other classes hasn’t been about the enjoyment of any of those things.  It’s become about  competition, being better, being prepared for a “competitive” world. Who cares that they’re five or ten or even fifteen, right? We better train them right now for the realities of the world.

The debate I see has come between the argument of doing right by them by preparing them for the adult world with  pushing them with more and more or the argument of taking a step back from our demands of more as a parent and letting them play and be children.

I’m convinced we can step back, demand less, and let them play when it comes to choosing what and how much to do when it comes to sports, other activities, and even the classes they choose to take as they go through their childhood. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe there isn’t room left for play anymore in our demanding society. But my finish line prize is about more than winning and having more money and more “things”.  My prize is about living and you have to find the enjoyment in playing as a child and as an adult if we really want to say we lived.

Angela is the working mom writer of Time with A & N. When she’s not trying to encourage her students as a high school teacher to have an appreciation for learning, she’s managing the slightly organized chaos of her life as a wife and mom.———————————————————————————————————————————————————————
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  1. kareena says:

    it is so important to teach kids about finding a healthy balance so that they are enjoying life

  2. This is something I also struggle with. My eldest DS is almost 11 and no longer intersted in playground sports. Trying to find his niche and get him off the Xbox has been a struggle. Luckily, recently found out about a couple of summer camps that teach his age how to design a video game from scratch. He’s very excited about it. So, for the moment, we seem to have found our balance b/t learning & playing. Good luck & don’t worry about keeping up with the Jones’. TGIF!

  3. Abra-doo says:

    So much competition!

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