Creating the family fun calendar can become quite challenging if you end up having to spend all your free time chauffeuring your children to a vast range of after school activities and clubs. Quite frankly by the end of the week you and your children can find yourself over-scheduled.
It would seem nowadays that children and parents are so over-scheduled and free play time has become so over-structured that there is no time to just potter around your home. No time to daydream or enjoy the pleasantries of your child’s own treasured bedtime toys and games. The reality is most people are sleep deprived, exhausted, and totally stressed out from it all. This leads to a breakdown in communication, lack of interest to do things as a family, children show signs of irritability and attitude when they are older. So how do we honor our child’s individuality, give them permission to explore different activities without losing our mind in the process. Making commitments to a few and enjoying is certainly better than making commitments to many and not.
- Visually write out the family’s extracurricular activities. The reason I say this is sometimes we just need to see exactly how much we are doing.
- Find a representation of something you do, so if your child takes ballet grab the ballet shoes, music lesson pick up the guitar, judo grab the gi, again place all this in front of your children so they can see everything around them. Now make them hold it all.
- Collaboration is key here in establishing the activities you will continue to do and those you will make a choice not to in order to free up a couple of evenings and a weekend. The reality is, it’s not how many activities you can participate in it’s how many you choose to do and enjoy successfully without it becoming a chore.
- Listen, yes listen, to what your child has to say, because they are going to sell you on the idea of why they continue with a particular activity and drop another. This is particularly good when you parents out there think your child should be doing something and they have no desire at all. Just because it is the trend doesn’t mean you should be doing it.
- If your children are doing well academically, then the arts or sports they choose to do provide a nice balance. For those that may be challenged perhaps picking an activity that would support the class they are challenged in would really help. So, example drama is really good as your children will read stories, act out plays and that all helps alongside their literacy skills.
Note: There is power in saying ‘No’. So be mindful as a parent not to overload your serving tray too.
Now go and have fun!
Copywritten by Jo Frost