Focus on Family

A few months ago on the way home from a company event, I was thinking about what it means to be a soccer mom.  The image of the mom in workout clothes with the mini-van full of kids comes to mind.  She’s the super-mom–the one who works full time, is in great shape, runs the PTA, participates in every school event, runs kids all over the place, etc. Somehow this image, which actually started out as a pejorative term, has become the goal of many moms.

Unfortunately, when we focus on all the extra activities and accomplishments and outward appearances, we miss out on what is most important–the hearts of our kids.  With all the extra things we cram into our lives–and our kids’ lives–so they can be the best and have the best, it’s no wonder that kids today are feeling so disjointed.

As moms, it’s our job to bring our family together.  And sometimes that means making tough decisions and saying no to some activities.  Just like any other mom, I want my kids to have the opportunities I didn’t.  I want them to be able to do the things they love and excel in them.  HOWEVER, I also know that they don’t NEED to be in 20 different activities to be happy.  What they need is time with their family.

It’s really important to choose carefully the things your kids are involved in, not only for their sakes, but for the sake of the family as a whole.  It doesn’t do any of us any good to be running around here and there and everywhere.

In our family, each of the kids gets to pick one thing every year to do outside the home.  And we try to make it so that only one of the three kids is in an activity at a time.  (or they share an activity)  This year, for example, Tristan played football in the fall.  Over the next 6 weeks or so, Megan is in a play.  And we’ll be signing Josyan up for a spring sport here in a few weeks.  Next year, the boys will play football together on the same team, etc.

The key is to allow kids to choose something they love, but also teach them that they don’t have to do everything.  You’ll all benefit from the rest from frantic activity and the time to spend with each other.

Karen

PS  This looks like an interesting resource on this topic:  http://www.hyper-parenting.com/

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