Today is my day in our media office and we were all talking about our weekends. I soon realized how busy everyone is and that made me think about "over scheduling." Even when talking to patients, parents and my own children, it seems that weekends are not the down time we used to think about. Where did those lazy Saturdays playing in the yard or picnic in the park go?
The weekend starts right after school on Friday with the first game of the weekend or the pre-party for the game etc. Saturday morning the alarms are still set as even your four-year old may have a early morning soccer game (do they let you start soccer and football in diapers?) at 8 a.m., and then every other sibling has at least one activity too whether it is dance, karate, or piano.
By late afternoon both parents have been carpooling, organizing and being spectators and cheerleaders, with a probable visit through a fast food line for a quick lunch.
As evening approaches everyone is already tired, but so much to do on a Saturday night too. As a parent of teens that means chaperoning, being available and always being home if your teen is going to have friends over. The other thing with teens is that they want to stay up late. Somehow I always thought you got more sleep once you left the "parent of infant" stage, but it comes back to hit you when you are 15 years older and staying up with the teenagers and their friends. Curfews are a good thing for everyone.
Sunday is not the "day of rest" either as not only is there church and Sunday school to get to, many school aged kids have practices and games or tournaments on Sundays. My minister even gave a sermon on this subject recently. Church attendance is down as parents must get their children to their Sunday sporting events. The "day of rest" idea may be a good discussion to have with coaches.
So that lazy weekend has turned into just two more days of stuff to do....over scheduling. Take a day off for you and your family. Just wake up and say, "what would we like to do today?" Staying home and laughing while playing a board game should be one of the choices.
What are your tricks to keep your kids from being over-scheduled? I would love your feedback.