Raising children today is very different from when our parents raised us. Sure we enjoyed signing up for a sports team here and there, trying out a new class, but for the most part we were home a lot playing with our siblings and the kids next door.
Fast forward a generation later and wow, have times changed! It’s wonderful that there is so much more available! There seems to always be special events happening around town, new activities that the local school is now offering, sports teams that just announced a new (often younger) age bracket, and much more! But with all of these possibilities, we seem to also have much fuller schedules.
You may have only ever thought of this as a positive, and I agree that it really does have many benefits! Kids today can try more by the age of 10 than most of us ever did in our entire lives! But is this new busy lifestyle really the best thing for our families?
I believe that play time is incredibly important! However, it often gets traded, or even skipped, for “experiences”. But our kids are young, and they only have one childhood.
Sure I agree that their is a lot that can be learned from playing on a team, or getting involved with your community; but there is also a lot of incredible benefits that come from staying home just a little more!
Below are just a few of these wonderful benefits:
I know many of these lessons can be taught in other ways outside of the home, but how wonderful that you have the option to learn all of this without jumping in the car and going somewhere everyday! So to any mom that feels the pressure to always give her kids new experiences – I ask you to please pause. You do not need to stop living your life, but I encourage you to take a moment to assess it. Ask yourself these three questions:
Depending on your answers, you may need to reassess your schedule. You too may want to trade in a few activities for some more playtime at home.
Understand that as your children grow up your lives will continue to change, and they will be able to (even want to) take on more and more. Unfortunately, we can’t keep them young and home forever. But whatever you decide to do or not do, just remember that you never want to look back and regret that you did not spend more time together as a family.
For our little family, we have found that trading majority of our activities for play time was actually for the very best.
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