When my children were toddlers, I was never tempted to over-schedule their lives. There were no baby language lessons, no gymboree, no kinder-musik. Each of them received only one year of preschool, which was held for a few hours a week.
It helped that we were dirt poor and couldn’t afford such luxuries. But, in truth, I wasn’t much tempted. I firmly felt that my kids would develop best if given lots of unstructured play and books.
Then everybody grew up and things changed slightly. While I still fervently believe in the power of unstructured play and books, I now worry about things like “undeveloped talents” and “untapped potential.” And don’t even get me started on what the words “stunted social life” do to my heart rate.
It appears that raising tweens is no easier than raising toddlers or preschoolers. While there is less poop and more sleep (usually) there are increased worries and doubts.
I often wish I lived in a Goldilocks world where we are presented with only three, easily discernible choices: too many activities, not enough activities, and just the right amount of activities.
Instead, I parent in a confusing and ever changing world filled with fine lines, consistent change, and a mind boggling number of options to choose from.
Most of the time I am left wondering if I’m doing it all right. Or, at least, right enough.
Occasionally, however, I get a little sign that (for the moment) I’ve reached a good balance and found the best activities and given the right amount of push.
And that little sign is enough.