When I was a kid I remember being told “get outside and play, it’s a beautiful day! Just make sure you are home before dark”. So off my sister and I would go. We rode our bikes, climbed trees, built forts, knocked on neighbours doors, and on more then one occasion barely made it home before the sun went down. The weekends were for the cottage or visiting with family or friends. I was never bored, and looking back I realize I was spoiled beyond belief. I was enrolled in Brownies, but that’s about it. We turned out just fine. Truly.
Fast forward 30 years and I look at my dear daughters schedule. Our family life is very different. Between Gymnastics three times per week for one child, and piano and dance class for the other, we are out of the house for activities 5 times per week. Truth be told if the girls had it their way, guitar lessons, singing lessons and synchronized swimming would all be added to this list! I am a Mama who is strongly resisting any more extra curricular activities. Turns out, in our neighbourhood, I am in the minority?
When I balked at adding more to my daughters “to do” lists, I was met with “But Mom…Sarah takes Gym, piano, Chinese lessons, swimming, soccer, brownies and singing.” Yep, something every single night. So when does this kid eat, play, do homework, veg? Just be a kid?
Kids in the Suburbs are quickly being forced to compete to survive. You want a chance at making that Theatre Group? You better have taken dance and singing or forget it. Want an “A” in Phys-Ed, or an edge to make the school teams? Well I hope your Mom had the foresight to get you some extra skating—soccer—volleyball—basketball- help, otherwise you don’t have a chance!
You are not in ANY extra curricular activities? Huh. Noses in the Suburbs scrape the sky. Clearly “we” are doing more for our child then you are doing for yours. Don’t you want the best for your child?? Is the general thought.
Stop the insanity!
I for one am putting my foot down. I’m helping my children find a balance between school life and the activities they love. I want them to know how to play by themselves, to be able to enjoy unstructured time. I want them to lie in the grass with nothing more to do then count the clouds, to build snow forts until their hands are numb, to ride their bikes and race home to barely make it home before dark.
Go ahead…..call me a bad Mama. I’m over the “super schedule” I don’t need to create SuperKids, I already have two…..just the way they are.
I’m off at BlisdomCanada. Promise to be back visiting next week:)