What makes the calendar such a tyrant?
Well, for me every 3 years it meant, we were packing up and moving to a new duty station (my Dad was in the military) and we had no choice. It always seemed to me that someone else was in charge of my life.
Isn’t that the way we parent’s feel when we get the new school calendar. Our lives are laid out there before us for the next 9 months. When you overlay the after school activities and schedules on top of that, plus all the social events tied to everyone in the classroom and the normal holidays and family outings; there is barely enough time to even crawl into bed every day.
So, what can you do with all of those schedules and dates and how does one manage to keep anything straight? Well, I have a radical idea and I can assure you your children will frown, complain and wail. I can also assure you that you will have the biggest guilt trip laid upon you, you can image! Still want to hear it?
It really isn’t so hard at all.
Before this year begins, sit down and have a family meeting. Let it be know that this year we will be allotting time for one after school activity per child. Your life is not meant to be scheduled every single minute of the day. This leads to insanity on the part of a parent. Believe me I have coached hundreds of parents on this topic and I have heard it all. May I ask you: “….Who is running your household?…..you or your children’s agenda?” Every day after school a child does not have to have an activity. They need to be doing lots of other things besides “activities”!
When I was in college, I worked as a receptionist in the boy’s dorm and in the girl’s dorm. The number one question I got asked by the boys was: “How do I do laundry?” I had to laugh, until I had answered the question a hundred times in their freshman year! I vowed to teach my children how to do their own laundry and how to iron and cook and take care of themselves before they left home. Learning “Life Skills” is just as important as clarinet lessons or being on the soccer team, and those skills may be more important. What life skills do your kids know how to do?
Our lives are not meant to be scheduled every day, every hour. Families, nerves and relationships are so fragmented and fragile right now, we need to stop. STOP doing and start being. We aren’t equipping our kids with the skills that they need as adults to just live. I know this because I coach adults and young adults everyday who are struggling with just living and being. We run away from life it seems. What are we running to?