Picture this scene:
- 3:00 P.M School is out for the day
- 3:30 P.M. Soccer practice
- 4:30 P.M. Dancing lesson
- 5:30 P.M. Dinner at McDonald’s
- 6:30 P.M. Church Activity
- 8:00 P.M. Homework
- 9:30 P.M. Bedtime
Though that is an imaginary scene, I have to believe it is a replica of many children’s schedule being played out in homes all across the nation as the school year begins. From the things I hear from young mothers, it sounds like the whole family is caught up in a juggling act trying to keep up with all the activities their children are involved in.
Mothers tell me that in addition to school obligations, their children are involved in numerous activities after school, such a sports, music lessons, dance, karate, gymnastics, and church groups, to name a few. It makes me tired just listening to their schedule.
Now, mind you, I am no prude that thinks a child should not have activities outside the home. I made sure my own children were engaged in extra curricular activities when they were growing up. But, I believe there must be a balance in doing so, less the child and parent suffer from burn-out.
A good check list for balance might look something like this:
- Are your kids still sleepy as they begin a new school day?
- Are they grouchy?
- Do they seem stressed?
- Are you having to carpool with a friend just to keep up?
- Is there no time in their day for family time?
- Is there no time in their day for quiet time with God?
I am just a “Nana,” “Mimi,” or one of those other sweet names your children call us, so I pose these questions to you out of concern. However, it might surprise you to learn what teachers and psychologists have to say. I challenge you to google the question: “Are Today’s Kids Overscheduled” and see what professionals have to say on the subject.
Perhaps it will enlighten and encourage you to examine your own child’s schedule, and get back to the basics of what really matters - - family time, and yes, quiet time with God.
I believe as children spend quality time with family and God, along with a balanced activity schedule, they will begin to get a glimpse of who God created them to be.
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