Nowadays it is all to easy to fall into the trap of becoming overly busy and over scheduling our kids. We have things that are important for us perhaps… church, volunteering, learning music, math club, and the like. Then there are the things they want like dance, sports, play dates, and all that fun kid’s stuff that seems so important each day. Our days may begin to fee as though we are running on auto-pilot and going through the motions. We spend more time in the mini-van bouncing from event to event then we do at home.
The book It’s Your Kid – Not a Gerbil is all about creating a less stressed, happier life. It battles the very idea that busy hands are happy hands and gives us some insight into why we might want to slow down and schedule less. Much of that is prioritizing and choosing activities wisely and it is also about making sure the home environment is a place the entire family wants to be, so they won’t feel the need to find stimulation elsewhere.
One aspect of the book that I loved was that it addresses the idea that our kids become the center of the universe as far as we or they are concerned. All of the effort we put into making sure they have all these opportunities and experiences is actually more likely to result in a selfish child who takes and takes, rather than gives. Not only can the over scheduling phenomena be exhausting for all involved it can be harmful for their future. Sooner or later they WILL be slapped with the reality that they are not the center of the universe. By that time it may mean they can’t hold a job or be a good spouse.
Another issue is that all the activities kids are involved with can be a source of pride for the parents. Retraining for all family members may be in order. Being so invested in your kids means you have lost a part of yourself and are living through them, which is not good for anyone.
If you need to slow down and get off the wheel I recommend this book. It is all about creating a happier family life, happier kids, and a less stressed mom and dad.