CHICAGO (CBS) — Parents know the feeling all too well, too many activities and not enough hours in the day.
Some families are constantly on the go. But at what cost? CBS 2’s Mary Kay Kleist reports on families making a choice to do less.
When school’s out, the rush isn’t over for most families. Days are filled with almost constant drop-offs and pickups for kids involved in sports, camps and other activities.
The Weidenbach family has decided to schedule fewer activities. They even have a one-sport rule for each child to help simplify their schedule.
Amy Weidenbach is the mother of six children. The oldest is a sophomore in high school and the youngest is 31/2.
They also try to control stress by emphasizing more time spent at home.
“We’ll take walks together or play games or do things like that, but I do believe that it’s so important to have that family time,” Weidenbach said.
Parent coach Cathy Cassani Adams couldn’t agree more.
“I think if your child is at home more, relaxed more, has more opportunities to talk with you, has more down time for themselves, you’re just gonna have a better connection with your child,” she said.
Adams has written two books on parenting. She says accepting your children for who they are is the key to their self-worth.
“They may say I want to stay home all day, and you say we need to choose one activity, but something you love, something that inspires you,” Adams said.
More and more parents say they’re trying now to schedule fewer activities for their children.
It’s calmer for the kids and for mom and dad, too.
“You got more time to spend with your child, you got more fun time and that’s what it is,” Melvin Lee said.
“We just like to slow down a bit so we are not forced to go from one activity to another on a time-table,” parent Ashin Bakshi said. “It’s just more relaxed. Everybody feels relaxed.”
And if you slow it down enough, your kids may actually become bored. And that can be a good thing.
“The greatest imaginative play for little kids, or the greatest imaginative creativity for older kids comes out when they’re bored,” Adams said.
Amy Weidenbach hopes by slowing down her family’s schedule, the kids will feel less overburdened and cherish the special moments the family spends together even more.
“I do hope that we have great memories that we can remember and that it’s not always rush rush rush,” Weidenbach said.
Adams also says it’s important to help your child find what they are truly passionate about, don’t just sign them up for an activity or sport just because the neighbor kid does it, or because it’s something you always wanted to do.