Monday, November 02, 2009

Let Them Be Little

This past week has gone by in a blur. We have been so busy that I can't seem to catch my breathe, and we are no where near as busy as some.

I can't imagine what life would be like if we didn't limit the kids activities. I have friends whose children are in three different activities a week...A WEEK! Right now my kids have two, and that is bowling. Boo will be starting something one day a week, but that almost feels like to much.

I would rather have my children be just that, Children.

I spent so many years of my life hopping from one activity to another, and bless my mother for driving me to it all. There were many spring days I would go from the ball field to the dance studio, and my brother from the track to the hockey arena. I don't know how she kept it all straight, let alone didn't loose her own mind along the way.

There is such a major trend with over scheduled children, and the after affects are now coming to light.

While having a child try many sports/groups/clubs over time is wonderful, bogging them down in one year can prove disastrous. Our Pediatrician talked with us about this at Boo's last Well-Child-Check this summer. She let us know that one activity at a time is a great way to go about it, that no child should feel the need to focus on one specific thing until they are older, 13 being an ideal age.

Boo has played soccer, baseball, taken dance class, swimming lessons and a random art class and bowls. Never at the same time, but spread out over 3 years. This year she wants to try her hand atFastpitch , and maybe some more swim lessons. But, again not overlapping (bowling is once a week for 8 months, if she misses it the world does not end, it is for fun).

Did you know that a child of 8-12 should be getting 10-12 hours of sleep a night. A Night! So many children have sports right after school, than another activity and then maybe get home to do homework by 8. That doesn't leave much time for sleep, especially if they want to make good grades on top of it all.

I worry about what things will be like when Boo hits high school. Sports and Activities (drama, NHS etc) are very prominent in schools now, and they should not be the priority. Getting an education and staying healthy is the main thing in life, and many of the children of today will not see that 9 years down the road.

Remember that our children are Children. They need to rush to play at the park, not off to another lesson. Slow down, and let them be children while they can.

"Let them be little, cause they are only that way for a while" Lonestar - Let Them Be Little


Megan (mommyesquire) said...

This is something that I really struggle with. This fall, I didn't sign Aubryn up for any activities. Although I feel guilty, it is kind of nice not to have to run to music or swimming at 9 on Saturday. At this age, I think that she just wants to spend time with me - no matter what we are doing.

Becca @ Our Crazy Boys said...

I feel the same way. Our neighbors look down on us because we don't enroll our kids in tons of sports every season. They only get to be carefree and irresponsible once in their lives!