Monday, September 19, 2005

Use of time

Mike's blog is asking how parents deal with the use of time for their children's activities. Let children make all the choices? Just say No to everything? Tough question--especially for parents with more than one child.

As I remember, we pretty well let Brandon choose what he wanted to do within reason.
I remember the family in the newspaper recently who didn't have supper until 9:00 on certain weekday evenings because they didn't want their children to miss out on taking fencing. (Now that is a life-time skill).I am sure the teachers of their children enjoyed waking them up during class so they could teach them math, English and other life-time skills.

Brandon gravitated toward activities for which I believe God gifted him--music, theater, speech, leadership in school government. Gamely, in order to fit into the Wylie culture of cowboys and jocks, he signed up to be a football trainer (I think that is what it was called.) And he even ran track for a couple of years. Those things were not his passion. Nor did they prepare him for his life as a musician, church production supervisor (Easter and Christmas plays) and a life as pastor to his worship teams and Zoe.

Extracurricular activities are important indications of what the child's future may
be. It is hard to forecast how the child may be gifted when the child is taking lessons in everything from pottery to fencing, and playing on all sports teams But my philosophy is that it doesn't hurt to try a lot of things before you find one in which you can succeed.

I do cry when I see a family overbooked and stressed out by activities to the neglect of more important and significant things.

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