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Activities: Not enough, too much or just right

Parenting blogger Yesenia Almonte talks about the internal pressure to over-schedule kids.
Soccer kid

Over-scheduling your kids with sports and music lessons is an easy trap to fall inistock

Puppetsburg, swimming, soccer, pottery, Spanish, Music for Aardvarks…In my 'hood, the number of activity options for children seems to be expanding by the second and whenever I talk to other moms in my neighborhood this subject invariably becomes a topic of conversation.

I sometimes come home feeling like maybe I should be doing more to keep my little buddies busy, but then I think, what’s so wrong with kids having free time to do what they want to do, not what we as parents thinks they’ll enjoy?

Last summer we signed up my then two year old for soccer on the weekends, thinking, it’s such an awesome sport that my husband and I love and we thought he would for sure share in our love of the sport. Negative. He was not a happy camper and did not enjoy it at all. There are several reasons this was a complete disaster: He may have been too young, he probably doesn’t enjoy soccer (my husband would hate to think that!) or he just doesn’t feel like it…

The weekdays are filled with stuff for my buddies to do. My toddler attends pre-school on a full-time basis and as if that isn’t enough, he has scheduled playdates and other enrichment activities.

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Don’t get me started on the weekends because they’re usually a blur of constant activity. So here’s my plan this summer: More downtime. Instead of having my toddler’s days packed with with classes, sports and activities that allow him to “socialize” with other kids, I’m planning on letting him make the decisions on the activities he wants to do and take away some of the structure and allow him the free time to do what he loves, like puzzles and reading—that approach may or may not work but rather than interfering (which I’m guilty of doing all the time!) I’m going to let him make his own decisions—and create activities of his own. Can you relate? Tweet me at @yeseniaalmonte.

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