Sue Summit of Minneapolis noticed something amiss one blistering January morning when William, her first-grader, declined to get on the school bus. Worried that something had happened at school, she queried her child as to what might have happened. A bully? A bad grade? William assured her that none of those were the cause, and simply told her the real reason: "I haven't had enough playtime." A bit of soul searching and a review of her seven-year-old's schedule were enough to tell Sue her kid was right. Soccer, hockey, and violin lessons left little free time for what kids like to do best-just hang around, goof off, and play. As Sue said, "Sometimes things get out of whack, and you have to pull back and determine why it's not working. We've made different adjustments over the years." Their new family rule: schoolwork always comes first, and then William takes on no more than one extra activity at a time.
So how are you doing in your home? Better yet: How would you think your children would respond if they were asked the same question? Hmmm. Might a tune-up or a bit of rethinking be something you want to commit to? If so, when will you start?
Was this article helpful?