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Over-Entertaining Kids is Overrated

In today’s world, we are taught that once you enter motherhood, your sole existence in life going forward is to keep your kids happy and entertained. Your life needs to revolve around them. Social media tells us that it is our duty to make sure that they have an enriching life, full of crafts, science experiments, educational shows, extracurricular activities, and picture perfect healthy recipes. Society defines you now as  a “mother” and you better live up to the current standards, or be subject to mommy wars

For better or for worse, we are a generation of Pinterest Parents, in which our mission in life should be to keep our kids entertained 100% of the time. We are told that we have to sign our kids up for soccer, tee-ball, swimming lessons, dance, art camp, gymnastics, and music class. While at the same time we need to make sure they have a healthy, yet fun dinner, chock full of veggies on the table and then ending the night with age appropriate educational games. In between all of that, you better make sure that they are painting, yoga-ing, and never give them a chance to say “I’m bored.” On the weekends, every hour should be booked up with something fun and exciting in order to differentiate from the school and work week.

I’m tired just thinking about that. We are raising an over-entertained generation and making ourselves crazy while we’re at it. Maybe it’s the introverted extrovert in me, but these plans always sound fun until I get to the end of the day and realize that we are all exhausted. I think over-entertaining kids is overrated.

Last year, I signed my 3-year old up for soccer. Because my spouse works on the weekends, this meant that I had to drag myself, her, and my infant out of our cozy beds every Saturday morning. Then trek to the field with stroller and gear, and bribe her to stay out on the field with a combination of donuts, fruit snacks, and ice cream. It wasn’t fun for anyone. Why did I do it? I thought it would be fun for her, but it wasn’t. She didn’t want to be there and neither did I. My daughter would have been happy as a clam lounging around in jammies all morning followed by a trip to the playground. I would have been a lot happier doing that, too. 

Does this sound familiar? Well, I’m here to tell you to stop. Stop over-entertaining your kids, for the sake of your sanity and the sanity of your kids. Don’t worry if your kids are bored or if they are getting enough enrichment. Free yourself from the pressure of over-entertaining.

I love my kids and I want them to grow up to be happy and successful, but it doesn’t mean that I need to entertain them to the point of exhaustion. In my own humble opinion, I think when you over-entertain your kids you are doing them and you a major disservice. I think all this over-entertainment is putting unnecessary pressure on moms. The end result being not enough down time for anyone, which everyone needs to fill up their tanks. If your kids are never bored, how will they understand the value of entertainment? 

You don’t need to entertain your kids every waking moment of the day in unique ways each day of the week. Especially if your kids are in school all day, let them have some down time. It’s okay if you didn’t spend the weekend setting up elaborate art projects or shuffling your 3-year old around to 3 different sports. It is okay if your kids played by themselves or watched TV while you sat on the couch and read that long overdue book. It’s okay if you spend every Sunday morning at the grocery store instead of signing up for that gymnastics class. Give yourself {and your kids} a break from the pressure of entertainment and you may just surprise yourself with how relaxed you feel!

Do you think over-entertaining your kids is overrated?

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