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Over-Scheduling Our Kids

I always want my children to have fun and to enjoy their days. I take very seriously doctors’ urgings that children should engage in at least sixty minutes of physical activity daily. Yet especially in the winter, it is hard to make this happen.

In nicer weather, I walk to the park with my children almost daily. Yet in the winter, the park is covered in snow, and there is barely enough room on the sidewalk or roads to walk. So, how do I keep my children, especially my three year old, busy and active while not over-scheduling and over-stimulating them?

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As a stay-at-home mom, I was able to take my children to at least one activity a day in order to keep them active and stimulated. However, as I prepare myself to renter the work force next week, I wonder how I will fit in everything and how much we will need to stop doing.

My son loves his gymnastics class through Stratford Recreation, but it was at 9:30 Monday mornings. This will no longer work, so I have looked into different classes for him to take. But they interfere with swimming lessons (we take lessons at both Fairfield University and at the YMCA). Story time was a favorite weekly, but now the only ones we can go to are at 6:00 at night which will ruin our bedtime routine. I want him to play sports, but everything seems to be at the same time as something else, or else I have scheduled three activities in a day.

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So I need to ask myself (and my husband), when is enough enough? When do I decide to just stay home with my children without organized and scheduled events and classes? Am I depriving them of athleticism and creativity if I don’t sign them up for multiple classes?

When I decided to return to work, my husband and I spoke about how the weekends would be family time devoted to being together. Are we still together if I am cheering from the sidelines or in the pool with the kids? Or should I treasure this time I have with them when they are so young and save the activities for when they are older?

One thing I know is that swimming lessons will always be a priority. What are some activities that you think are crucial for young children? When do you think parents should start scheduling classes?

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2 Responses to Over-Scheduling Our Kids

  1. Michelle
    Michelle February 15, 2014 at 9:15 AM #

    I feel the same exact way. I’m a teacher and over the summer we do at least one activity or class per day and it works to keep busy. During the school year my kids are at home in the care of my mom and I have a nanny for part of week. This doesn’t make getting out of the house easy. Right now my almost three year old only takes one gym class per week. Due to this awful weather the rest of the week is spent home playing inside. I feel guilty that he’s bored and I feel stressed to try and fit everything into the weekends. In my heart I know no matter what my kids will be ok, but it’s hard not to question everything!

  2. Allison Hughes-Randall
    Allison Hughes-Randall February 15, 2014 at 12:57 PM #

    I look at it this way – my parents were both full time teachers, and had very little time to do stuff during the week when I was growing up. If I was able to take any “classes” they were in the evening, but they were few and far between, so we did things on the weekends (but not every weekend because they were exhausted). I turned out fine, I think. 🙂

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