I’ve been reading Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living* by Tsh Oxenreider. I’m just about at the end of chapter 4 ~ Time is a Tool: Use it Wisely; Enjoy it Thoroughly and came across a notion that I found rather interesting (check out page 52).
Oxenreider suggests that one of the primary reasons that families are too busy to simplify their lives is because there is “too much structured time for kids.” At first, it seems a bit shocking, doesn’t it? I mean, what child doesn’t need structure?
Can you really have too much structure? Well, yeah, if every minute of the day is planned with no room for flexibility, and with…
“Mom serving as the taxi, and the kids being carted around from every official activity the family can afford…even just one child’s hyperstructured schedule affect the whole family – and ultimately, a family’s quest for a simpler life.”
I’m with Tsh on this one. Granted, I don’t have any real human children, but when it’s time for my canine child to head to the dog park or to the vet, it can be a production to make sure it all goes as planned without too much chaos. I wonder what would happen if I added doggy agility training a couple times a week to that mix?
During a casual conversation recently, I learned about someone who limits her children’s activities. They are allowed only one extra-curricular activity which means they have to choose carefully which one they want to participate in. I’m sure you’re not surprised that I think this is a good idea, too. Btw, the children are also not allowed to quit that sport/activity/thing until they’ve given it the old college try. I’m inclined to think that this would lead to better decision making. Even if it were a decision they ultimately regretted, it would at least be a learning experience and allow for a more thoughtful selection the next time they had to pick a thing.
So, what do you think about this? Agree? Disagree? Should your children have numerous opportunities for becoming well-rounded individuals? …opportunities that will enrich their lives and allow them to have varied experiences…one of which they might choose as a future career? Should the family simply make the necessary sacrifices?
Or, should they have more time for just being kids? You know, the ones that make mud pies and go dancing in the rain? The types of activities that parents can watch from a kitchen window without the long commute across town?
*A free review copy of Organized Simplicity was sent to me by the author’s publicity firm.