Parenting: Not enough playtime

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Despite my best efforts, I think my children are still overscheduled. My older daughter wants to be in every activity and seems to balance it with ease, while my younger daughter screams in protest.

My younger daughter wants more free time and pretend play. It's completely understandable, but she has to be with me while I'm carting my older daughter back and forth to gymnastics and soccer.

I want my younger daughter to know that I'm listening and I try to carve out special time for her to relax and play. I did a little search on the topic and found an interesting article by Kim Mulford in the Courier Post. It was also feature online at USA TODAY.

In the article Mulford quotes Danielle Marshall from KaBOOM!: "Since the late 1970s, kids lost 12 hours of free time per week and experienced a 25 percent decrease in play and a 50 percent decrease in unstructured outdoor activities."

I have to say the article really got me thinking about my own children and what they're missing without unstructured playtime.

I think the answer in my family will be to cut back for a while with my older daughter's activities and perhaps have my husband drive her while I stay home with my younger daughter .

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