Just reading that sentence reminds me how over-involved we parents are in our children’s choices.
Anyway, there are so many activities for kids to do today. Gone are the days of doing homework and then jumping on a bike and riding around the neighborhood after school, or *gasp* being expected to entertain themselves or *gasp gasp* actually doing chores and helping out around the house.
Today, swimming lessons start at birth, they enter preschool at two years old, soccer starts at 3, and there’s Gymboree and KinderMusik and Mommy and Me yoga, exercise, and infinite variations of playgroups, all offered before they even start regular school.
My kids, by kindergarten, had done organized swimming, karate, dance, soccer and tee ball.
Now they are onto instrument lessons, basketball, baseball, golf, dance, and academic groups like reading competitions and enrichment classes. Plus homework and extra credit, suggested at-home reading, church activities, and time with family and friends.
All that and school seven hours a day, five days a week.
The number of choices is overwhelming. I have a low threshold for a cluttered life, so I tend to get the crazies when we have too much going on. I have passed this trait onto our kids. They melt down when there’s too little free time. At that point we all take a step back to see what is important and vital and what can be let go. We try to keep some time open to relax, and maybe even to complete some work that we’ve let slide.
I am not raising Olympic athletes or billionaire software developers; I am raising children. My job as a parent is not to fill up my children’s lives with every activity offered; I need to teach and encourage them to choose wisely and do their best at whatever they choose. Sometimes I do better at this than other times. I try not to compete with other parents on whose children do more activities. I believe that if we teach our children to plan every minute of every day, they will miss living the lives that God intends for them. If they don’t learn how to stop living for themselves, they may miss why they are here in the first place.
I hope they realize this as they mature. For now, trusting that I am guiding them down God’s intended path for them is enough; I know that he will take care of the rest.
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)