Families in the months of April and May are busier and busier with sports, end-of-school year events, parties and coaching. A normally fun activity now becomes an overscheduled and frazzled, “Come on, hurry up, we’re going to be late, do you have your water bottle and did you grab a snack?”
As the warmer weather begins and people emerge to enjoy the sun and outdoors (sorry allergies!), the fields and our calendars get filled very quickly – children more than ever are over-scheduled and parents are over extended trying to meet all of the expectations: taxi-drivers who are double booked, home chefs for multiple dinner times, forms signed and returned to school on time, all the while the dirty laundry is piling up and the washing machine is constantly running. Often leading to an increase in stress, anxiety, tantrums, fatigue and burn-out – not only in parents, but our children feel this too!
What is a parent to do when all their children’s friends are in this activity and that one? The pressure to keep up with our peers is real, yet the reality is that we can’t.
It is impossible to do everything….and that is OK! Adapting this mindset will help you find what is right and works for your family, as well as decrease the level of stress, anxiety and meltdowns overscheduling can create.
Take-Aways from the UPside:
- Permission to Say NO – teaches limits, boundaries and balance. What is more important to your family – say YES to that and NO to the rest.
- The brains of “Littles” need down-time, boredom and rest. This “down time” that is lacking in children’s lives has been shown to improve creativity, increase problem solving and develop independence, and more importantly allow a child to relax and have fun in their own way!
- Question the Why, Who and How – Who is this working for in the family, why is there this need to continue and how do we break the cycle?