Overscheduled: Time to just be a Kid?

This is related to one of my articles a few entries back entitled “Kids: Computer Games & Television Versus Exercise.” In that entry, I talked about the tendency of so many kids today (and their parents allowing it) to be plopped in front of computer games and televisions instead of going outside, running around, playing kickball, or joining a sports team.

There is another point not brought out in that article. Some kids have the opposite problem. They are over-stressed, over-scheduled and just plain overdoing it. You know the type. Mom drives them to soccer practice two nights a week and to games on Saturday. Then there are music lessons after school once a week along with daily practice. Let’s not forget the after school art-enrichment program. Did we mention the scouts and the paper route? The list goes on.

These parents are doing their kids just as much of a disservice as those who allow the kids to sit around and do nothing all day. Those busy-as-bees kids need time to just enjoy being kids, to have fun, relax, and even to take on the responsibility of managing their own time and schedules.

In short, parents have to help their kids overcome the tendency towards the extremes and find the healthy balance.

A Parent’s Worst Nightmare

It’s one of a parent’s worst nightmares – being in a public place such as a mall with his or her child tagging closely behind when suddenly the parent turns around to discover…the child is missing!

True story:

After the initial shock, the parent calls the name, thinking the child is hiding or playing a game. Within seconds, the parent’s voice becomes louder, more high pitched and desperate. Soon, employees join in the search and an is announcement is made over the PA system. After a minute or two, the parent is in a state of hysteria with free-flowing tears and the worst of fears gripping her mind.

Time ticks away. The whole place is in panic mode as everyone searches desperately. People look at each other wondering who knows something they’re not telling. Mall security and the police are called. The store is locked down.

45 minutes later:

Where was Junior? He was hiding the whole time underneath the long coats on of one of the clothes racks, admittedly laughing and peeking through the coats to watch all this activity buzzing around all because of him.

Parent to Junior through hysterical hugs, “Now that I know you’re all right, I’m going to kill you when we get home.”

My opinion:

I think they call this “The Joy of Parenting.”

Madonna, Tom Brady, and X-Box 360

I was just discussing the state of education with a friend whose son is a teacher and thought I’d share part of our discussion:

“Most of those kids couldn’t even find their own state on a map if you gave them a free X-Box 360 as an incentive! As for losing the children’s attention, there’s a shocker. Unless Madonna is making a guest appearance with Tom Brady, no kidding that kids don’t pay attention. ”

How about it, parents: Agree or Disagree?

Should dads be offended?

I went to a restaurant today and the waiter left a laminated “help wanted” sheet along with the menus. The sheet was advertising that they were hiring immediately for all positions and that it was a great place to work.

One of the lines said that everyone is welcome to apply. The line that prompted this post said something like, “ideal mother’s hours” or “perfect mother’s hours.” The important point here is the use of the words “mother’s hours.” I know that is a traditional phrase used to describe a shift roughly around 10AM – 3PM when children would be in school and non-working moms would then be free to pursue a part time job.

In this day and age, it should say, “parent’s hours.” What do you think? Should dads be offended?