Balancing Family Life with Rigorous Schedules

One of the best ways to help our children develop well rounded personalities is by providing an environment that meets their needs.

The Balancing Act

There is an amazing balancing act happening in almost every home that has children.  Basic duties must take place so that peace can reign.  Learning begins at the earliest age.  Parents want to give their child an edge when it comes to education.  Social skills must develop, because without them, knowledge won’t take you very far.  Hygiene must be taught and practiced.  Meals must be fed.  Sleep is a requirement to function effectively.  Then there are all of the extras which include music, academic clubs, and sports.  These are supposed to add to the overall experience of your family life.

Extra-curricular Activities

In a family where three children need everything listed above, it can be a harrowing experience to try and fit in music lessons, dance class, football practice.  The rigorous practice and game schedule of football alone is enough to overwhelm any family, even with only one child participating.  When two or more children are signed up, parents often take turns going to different games.  This is because of conflicting schedules.  The children must accept the fact that they are lucky to have at least one parent there. 
Family life seems to be challenged by too many activities.  The idea is good.  Parents expose their children to a variety of things to help them develop well rounded personalities.  The effect of so many activities often interferes with family meals, chores and homework.  It can also be directly linked to sleep deprivation.  Many children have a difficult time winding down after so much stimulation.  This creates problems with sleep patterns that can be seen for years to come.

A Secure Foundation

Family life is an important part of every child’s upbringing.  It is the foundation, which helps them feel secure, and enables them to function effectively as well rounded individuals.  When this foundation is challenged, our children develop nervous tendencies.   Their anxieties can, and often do,  lead to inappropriate behavior.  Since the goal of extra-curricular activities is to form a well rounded person, I contend that we challenge the premise.  I suggest that too much activity is detrimental to family life.

The Importance of Family Meal Time

Dinner time is an opportunity to sit down together as a family.  Family members can talk about their day, while relaxing over a meal together.  They can brainstorm over challenges with each other, and even share a few laughs.  This offers each person a chance to build relationships, while being acknowledged as individuals.  This type of activity promotes a well rounded person.  It creates a wonderful support system for everyone.

People need to have a place where they feel safe.  They need to be able to express whatever is on their minds, and in their hearts.  By offering a set meal time in your home, you will be able to enjoy quality time together.   You will also foster the basic necessity of providing a safe and secure environment, where everyone is appreciated no matter what.

Friendly Socialization

Allowing your children to have friends over is advantageous for a number of reasons.  When children have company, they are comfortable at home.  If they weren’t, they would not let others see how they live.  Having guests over also helps your child learn how to entertain.  They develop manners, and conversation skills that are needed later in life.

Children also need to socialize with their friends outside of your home, and away from scheduled activities.  Your child should be encouraged to make friends at school and in the neighborhood.  He should be allowed to plan impromptu basketball games at the local park.  She should be allowed to meet her friends for lunch at a local restaurant.

Determining Family Needs

The most important thing is to determine what your family needs.  If you are completely worn out from being on the go too much,  it may be time to reevaluate why you are providing so many activities in the first place.  It might be a good idea to sit down with your family at dinner, and decide if you want to continue trying to meet all of your obligations.  If you can’t figure out a good time for everyone to get together, it is probably time to see what can be taken off the schedule.  If everyone is too exhausted to even make it to the table, you have your answer.

One of the best ways to help our children develop well rounded personalities is by providing an environment that meets their needs.  We do this by letting them explore their different interests.  We also do this by providing a happy home life where they are not expected to be high achievers.  Giving our children a place to relax is as important as helping them accomplish their goals.

All photos used on this site are Public Domain unless otherwise credited.

©2011, 2012 All Rights Reserved Teresa DePoy

Photo Credit: Stock.xchng