Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.
–Robert A. Heinlein
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS AND SIDE-EFECTS OF OVER-SCHEDULING?
- Mental stress and pervasive anxiety
- Lasting feelings of fatigue and being worn down
- Feeling always just a little bit behind and never good enough
- Hyper-focus on performance versus being present and alive
- Health and metabolic disruption caused by stress eating or unhealthy eating
- Insufficient and interrupted sleep
- Disconnected – and rushed – relationships
- Diminished quality time with family and friends
- Living for the weekend but feeling like they fly by
- Feeling overwhelmed with life and pressured to do more
“Parents need to teach their kids to balance human doing with human being, kids need to know they’re not defined by what they do, she said. They need time to play, experiment, rest and figure out who they are.” -clinical psychologist Paula Bloom.
“As parents, we’ve got to get over our anxiety that we’re not doing enough. Creating a sense of safety, helping kids have confidence to try certain things, those are the things that matter.” – Paula Bloom
Ivin Rosenfeld, M.D., a child psychiatrist and author of The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap, believes that enrolling children – and ourselves – in too many activities is a nationwide problem. “Overscheduling our children is not only a widespread phenomenon, it’s how we parent today. Parent feel remiss that they’re not being good parents if their kids aren’t in all kinds of activities. Children are under pressure to achieve, to be competitive.”
WAYS TO RECLAIM YOUR DAY:
Focus on “enjoying” the day, not “doing” the day.
Have a to-do list, but keep it small.
Build in “white time”
Learn how to say “no”
Never let guilt be your motivator
Take more recess – make moving your body the cornerstone of your wellness
Prioritize creativity for yourself – and for your kids
Use Sundays to map out your next week
Polish your next-day priorities before going to bed at night
HOW YOU LIVE IS HOW YOUR CHILDREN WILL LEARN TO LIVE.
YOUR EXAMPLE MATTERS.
Consider the example you are setting for your children. Do you want them to live an overscheduled life? What message are you currently passing down to them and is it the message you want them to hear? As parents we have the unique opportunity to demonstrate a lifestyle and attitude towards life to our children – what we show them is what will come most naturally to them in the future. How do you wish for your child to experience the world as an adult? Stressed out and always trying to accomplish something and prove something, or fully engaged in enjoying life and pursuing creative excellence in all they do?
A poll by HealthAmerica from 2006 revealed that out of 882 children, 41 percent between the ages of 9 and 13 felt stressed all of the time or most of the time, because they have too much to do. Of those same children surveyed, 78 percent wished they had more free time.