Where does the time go these days? I swear I looked down on a January afternoon and when I looked back up April was here.
Time moves so fast these days and its even faster when you hit those busy spots in your life. Oddly enough with how quickly the beginning of the year went, those weren't even what we consider the busy months in our house. My kids have always been active throughout the year, but spring and summer arewhen they keep us going a thousand miles an hour with sports and different activities. Starting this past Monday my youngest will not have a weeknight evening free from an activity until sometime in June and some nights we might have to leave one activity and head straight to another. That makes me wonder at times, how much is too much when it comes to keeping our kids busy?
If you look at it, I don't really have him signed up for too many activities. He has baseball, youth group for church and this is his first year competing in shooting events through the 4-H program so he has archery practice one night a week and rifle practice another. One sport, one longer term activity and church doesn't seem like we are pushing him too hard, but it does take up every evening for us for a long time.
We really thought we might have to ask him to choose between baseball and shooting this year, but luckily practices ended up being on different days of the week and now all that is left to worry about is the game schedule. How would we have made that decision though and how would we have expected a little guy like that to choose between his first love, baseball, and a new activity that he is so excited for. I'm not really sure how that would have ended up or what we would have done, right now I am just grateful that as chaotic as it will be the days of the week landed on our side and we will manage to do both.
I know we are far from being the only parents in this boat and I am curious to know what other parents think. Do we let our little ones get overextended? Should we have a cut off for the amount of evenings that they are out doing activities on school nights?
I am a firm believer in having a child try new things, in making them engage in community life and explore. However, I am also a big believer in unscripted play time and the ability to just be a child and use their imaginations. No guidelines on what they are supposed to be doing every hour of the day, just the freedom to enjoy whatever it is they want to do. This is the only time of the year where our schedule get super crazy like this. Most of the time he only has one activity at a time, for now anyways, or it would probably concern me a lot more, but I wonder what parents that have been in our shoes think or parents that are going through it right now think. Do we schedule our kids lives too much by trying to keep them involved with everything and out of trouble? Should we all take a step back and let them enjoy some good old fashioned unstructured free time? And then how do you choose which event to take time off from? For us we wanted to get him involved in the shooting events as soon as possible, but also felt that this year’s baseball season was a critical time in his development in the sport, since next year he will begin playing in a lot more competitive division and we didn’t want him to fall behind his peers. It would have been a really tough choice and I’m glad we didn’t have to make it, we bought ourselves one more year at least.