It seems that everywhere I look I see more and more frazzled parents and overworked kids. Everyone is overscheduled and stressed out running from one game or lesson to another. Our days are jam packed! We are creating utter chaos of ourselves. I know, I have been guilty of doing this.
Is it you or are your children the ones who are choosing to do so many after school and summer activities? Is this really the best thing for you, them or both? Are our kids truly better off by being pulled in a million different directions?
We often blame video games, television and the internet for our children's inability to concentrate for any length of time. To combat these media forces, we enroll them in a million different programs. Do we ever stop to think about how that must effect their concentration? When they have soccer, piano, dance lessons, theater productions, swimming, 4-H, football, basketball, etc, etc, are we really giving them time to concentrate? I know my brain would be overwhelmed if I had so many different lessons or practices to remember to go to and then there is the practice they have to do at home.
Why not put a limit on how much you and your kids do? I have always had a hard time saying no to different organizations and groups that want me to do volunteer work. Then I found myself stressed out and stretched too thin. I also found that every time I volunteered, I saw the same faces over and over again. It's always the same people doing all of the work.
I also realized that I wasn't giving my family the time and energy they deserved. Since I learned to use those beautiful letters N and O in combination, my stress has drastically been reduced.
I am not saying that I don't help out when I am needed. I do. I also found that I am way more effective in smaller doses. I am spending more time with my family and more time doing things that I truly enjoy.
Learn to say NO. Purse your lips and let the one syllable word escape as often as needed. Good luck!