It’s Wednesday and that means that my friend Lisa Graf from Mom Blog and I are posting our weekly parenting blog. (Got one you would like to hear our thoughts on? Comment or contact us with it!) She is raising 4 small children 6 and under and I have 3 grown kids all in their early to mid-20′s. We thought it would be fun to show the different perspective that each of us have on the same parenting issues.
Outside Activities and Your Kids
Today we are going to talk about the children’s involvement in activities outside of the family. This was always a hard thing to gauge for me I think kids should be active but not busy. What do I mean by this? Behind every activity there should be a reason, something that the kids are learning. Now I didn’t say that to them but church, sports, 4-H were our core activities. With three kids I also looked for things that more then one child could be involved in. It didn’t always work but when they where young and without a driver’s license I tried to limit as many trips as I could.
I was strict about church activities Wednesday and Sunday were church activities period. Sports sometimes caused problems with scheduling practices or games during those times. But I found most coaches understood and soon learned that the Snyder kids wouldn’t be there on those days. Kids would be upset to begin with but they also learned that was just how it was.
I had a friend who owned a campground. She hired 14 year olds to rack the place and keep it picked up during the summer. All three kids started out their gainful employment there and worked all through high school. When they got in high school, our daughter managed the camp store; our oldest boy was in charge of the honey pot (if you know what I mean.) And our youngest worked the beach. He was on the swim team so it was a great place for him.
By the time the kids had their drivers license they had as much freedom as they wanted once their school was done, they had their chores done and they worked out a schedule with their siblings for the car that they were allowed to share. One memory that stands out in my mind is when the kids where fighting over the car in front of their dad. He took the keys for a week. Don’t fight in front of daddy. When each kid got their own car is looked like we owned a car lot!
The best thing I have to share is don’t let your kids get to busy to early. When they are in their late teen years it seems like they are always on the go. Make sure to watch them and know if they are taking care of themselves. Parents have to be the watchmen to protect your kids and to make sure the activities are fun and not stressful.
Lisa has been traveling this last week and will get her part of the blog out as soon as possible.