If there's one thing I learned, it's that our kids are stressed with their schedules. When kids are not allowed to have any down time, they begin to dislike everything they do. Some of the kids I met flat out said to me, "I want to volunteer more with my church, but I cannot because my parents have signed me up for several different travel sports teams all year long." My reply was, "Have you talked to your parents about this?" They all told me, they won't listen.
Seriously? Parents, listen to your kids. The kids that I met last week were kids that were well mannered and really trying to please their parents. I could see that a breaking point was near and that's when the problems will set in.
I worked in a high school as a para-educator several years ago and I heard the same thing then. Sadly, many of the kids that I had this same conversation with were into trouble a couple years down the road. I have seen first hand that it is possible to over schedule your kids with activities. If you don't allow them to have some down time, they honestly have no clue what to do with it when they hit the real world.
Down time in the real world involves folding clothes, washing clothes, doing dishes, walking the dog and all those good things that we do to survive in the world today. Volunteering is something kids should be proud to be a part of, yet it can be another trap. I've also seen kids that were volunteered out. Hence, they hit a breaking point.
Parents, my challenge to you is to work on the finding the balance for your kids. I learned that many of our kids are hurting, tired and want to slow down. Listen to your kids and come to the best agreement that you can.
I do not claim to be a perfect parent, I never was. Stay in tune to what your teens are doing. Listen to them and they will thank you down the road. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?