Can Kids Be Too Busy?

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Can They Be Too Busy?  Or Does It Keep Them Out of Trouble?My wife said she had a dream last night. The good news was it was about me (I am pretty sure she doesn’t tell me about her “other” dreams).

The bad news is she said I was old in the dream. Really old. Like age-spots on my big forehead old.

I wonder if I was wearing my pants really high in the dream. I don’t care what anyone says, that it a good look.

Anyway, I had only one thought when she told me about the dream.

No kidding.

I think she missed her calling. She should have been a detective.

I guess she has been staring at her laptop and SMARTBoard for so long that she hadn’t noticed that I AM old.

I would like to point out that since I met her she has aged the same number of years, but since I still can’t cook, I will keep that information to myself.

This did get me to thinking.

Another year is almost gone. While I have mentioned this before, I am still amazed by how quickly the years are flying.

The calendar year flies…as does the school year…summer vacation…and most of all, the weekends.

As we head towards the end of the year, I am faced with the fact that my daughter is also getting older.

While she is 7, she maintains a social calendar of a 20 year old (except for the parties, tattoos, and piercings… knock on wood… seriously, everyone reading this knock on wood).

She doesn’t have much time for me.

If I want her to clean her room, I have to contact someone she likes to call “her people”.

It used to be that I only needed to ask her 30 seconds before I left the house if she wanted to tag along with me. Every trip was fun for her. Games, trips to the gas station, or going to the store.

Now when I ask, she says “I need to check my schedule.”

In the last year she has played on 3 soccer teams, a softball team, participated in Girl Scouts, started piano lessons, taken 3 vacations, gone to science camp, learned to swim, played golf, watched about 18,000 hours of Nickelodeon, read roughly 100 books, attended a dozen sleepovers, and joined a choir which practices once a week.

Last night she barely had time to teach me how to use my new Blackberry Storm.

And oh yea. She goes to school.

Which means there is homework at least 4 nights a week.

Sometimes I wonder if she is too busy. I am torn between encouraging her to participate in everything that interests her and making her slow down.

I have always felt like kids who keep busy, don’t have time to get in trouble.

But I also don’t want her to look back on her childhood and feel like she didn’t have any free time for herself.

I’m torn.

I’ve also thought that my job isn’t being a school administrator, but it is giving her as many opportunities as I can so she can be successful.

When she is older.

And I am actually really old (again, knocking on wood is appropriate).

But is it possible that she can be too busy?

Or that I won’t look good in high water polyester pants hiked up to my nipples?

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6 Responses to “Can Kids Be Too Busy?”

  1. Jim
    on Dec 13th, 2008
    @ 12:29 pm

    I feel the same way- my two kids are busy, busy, busy, with soccer, karate, Cub Scouts, birthday parties, school, homework, etc, not to mention the times we need to hand them off to someone else because of our own work schedules (wife and I are both administrators). It is a fine balance between providing exposure and opportunities and sacrificing quality of life.
    And, by the way, that was a very tasteful use of the word “nipples.”

  2. Jenny Nash
    on Dec 13th, 2008
    @ 2:04 pm

    Yes! Kids ARE too busy — which also makes their PARENTS too busy! I love to see my kids sitting around the house on a weekend doing “nothing”. (i.e. using their imaginations to entertain themselves! reading, acting things out, listening to music, following the dog around the backyard, talking to each other, etc.) Childhood is a fairly young concept, and it appears to be going out of style. Back then they were dressed in miniature versions of adult clothing and lived much within the rules of adult behavior…now, they dress like adults and carry cell phones and laptops.

    My other thought — this post needed a visual. Can’t you model that look for us? Don’t you want to test the waters? You may need to start working on Plan B. LOL

  3. Dave Meister
    on Dec 13th, 2008
    @ 10:17 pm

    nipples….age spots….pants hiked up…your losing it bud. I hope I dont end up like you….knock on wood!

  4. Angie
    on Dec 15th, 2008
    @ 9:20 am

    We (my husband and I) have a rule for our children : only one sport and one other “non-sport activity” at a time. So, if they want to do, say, soccer and baseball during the same season, they must just pick one. Then they are free to pick the other the next season. (FYI- the winner is fall baseball.) I remember distinctly as a kid going to the bowling alley once a week because my parents were in a league. I also remember staying home every new year’s with a babysitter because my parents were out. While my brother and I were involved in tap (me) and basketball (my brother) while growing up, my parents’ lives did not revolve around our schedules. They had their own lives. I have the same attitude. Love my children, want them to be involved, don’t want them to think that their childish wants dictate my adult life.

  5. Dylan
    on Jun 23rd, 2009
    @ 4:10 am

    This is probably going to show off how naive and childless I am, but here’s my thought: communicate that to her. Let her know you think she MAY be a bit busy, and tell her you feel she’s forgetting to be a child. That way, she can make her informed decision (which I imagine will be to ignore Dad’s advice), and she’ll be responsible for it later. It seems to me that parenting is largely pre-emptive damage control. Making her make the decision prevents her from having ammo with which to blame you later. Now if you could send her a text so you can schedule a meeting with her people…

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