Extreme Parenting: This Kid is Busier Than Me!
My 2nd grade daughter has an adorable best friend. This friend is sweet, fun and polite. Oh and I'm pretty sure it's easier to schedule a one on one with President Obama than get on this kid's schedule.
This child is signed up for everything! She takes piano. And tennis. And goes to religious school. And private tutoring. And Girl Scouts. And art club. And I can only assume she takes some kind of hybrid Mandarin basketball class on the weekends.
Because she is so scheduled (with one or two activities every afternoon), I am constantly begging for play dates for the two girls. I text her mom (a close friend) repeatedly. I attempt to corner her babysitter at the playground. "Put my daughter on the schedule! Please. The girls are dying for a play date," I beg. I haven't stalked anyone like this since I had a mad crush on a boy in junior high. I'm desperate and it's not pretty. I feel so needy.
I really try not to judge other parenting styles because I'm sure I've made some ridiculous parenting decisions over the years (please don't point them out). But what ever happened to free play? Not only does it encourage creativity and utilize children's imaginations but it's also actually free. Meaning I don't have to pay for it.
The truth is, with 5 kids, I can't afford to sign them up for a zillion activities. I pick one or two. But even if I could, I feel like my children really thrive when they have unstructured time. They are already in school until 3 pm. Plus, then they have homework. So there isn't much time for creativity as it is.
Things won't even get better when school is out since her friend is off to Europe and then when she returns, camp is in session. A bus picks this friend up for camp everyday at 8 am and delivers her back at 5 pm.
Even though my daughter loves her best friend (and so do I!), I've had to encourage friendships with other girls who are more available. Girls who will be around this summer for a game of tag, hide and seek or to just sit on the grass in the backyard and enjoy a lazy day of summer.
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