Do we over schedule our children?

As I sit here on a beautiful Sunday morning, drinking my (third) cup of coffee, I started to wonder this question “Do we over schedule our kids?” From the moment I was pregnant with my first, I started thinking of all the things I wanted him to do, all the activities I wanted him to try and succeed in. We were in playgroups from the moment he was even just a few weeks old, books and babies at the library (and really we all know that was just for mommy to get out and socialize with other adults) and honestly, I think that is a great idea, we all need to get out and be with other adults. As for “organized” sports and activities, for Connor (my first) they started when he was 4 (which seems to be the magic age, locally at least, that they can do lessons independently without mom or dad). I enrolled him in swimming lessons and T-Ball. He enjoyed both, but that meant that we were out of the house 3 times a week (because T-Ball for 2 nights/week).IMG_5453.JPGConnor running the bases, T-Ball, Summer 2015

As he grew, he changed what he was interested in, no longer wanting to play T-Ball, but continue on with swimming and switched T-Ball out for soccer (another sport that did not hold his interest) These were summer sports, but during the school year he had Small Ball (which is basketball skills for the younger grades) and he loved that and we also had speech therapy. So when he entered school, we were out of the house, again, for 3 nights.

Now with 2 children, it seems we are never home. Madeline is involved in dance, gymnastics, swimming and skating. Thursday to Sunday we are out of the house for her activities (she just turned 5), Connor is involved in swimming, hockey and he still continues with Speech Therapy. Hockey was on Sunday nights, swimming is Friday and Speech changes but is usually on Monday. Five of the seven days during the week we are out of the house. The kids love it, but I worry, do my children have time to be children?

IMG_8773Madeline during dance class

IMG_8902.JPGFinal skating show

When do they get to play in the dirt? Run around outside and not worry about getting somewhere by a certain time? They both love all the activities that they are participating in but sometimes I wonder, is it simply “Too much?”. Yesterday my nieces and nephew spent the day with us, we had no where to go and no schedule. All 5 children played out in the snow, made crafts, colored, drank hot chocolate and baked/decorated cupcakes. They all had so much fun. Once they left, my children crashed! They were wiped but all they talked about was how much fun they had with their cousins and they were sound asleep by 7 p.m.

20170318_144312.jpgDecorating cupcakes, March 2017

20170318_110107.jpgPlaying in the snow, March 2017

So answer me this question, how many activities are your children involved in? Do you feel that one is enough or are do you think that more is better?

 

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