I told you – 2 year olds should not need planners!

I was reading a back issue of the Wall Street Journal today and the article that really snagged me was the necessity of recess in an elementary day. Then I log on to Yahoo to grab my mail and I find this.

All I can say is I feel vindicated. For years I’ve been decrying the “power-mommy:” The woman who has every minute of her toddler’s day planned so that he can get into Harvard at 16. I myself am a slacker mom. I don’t schedule my kids’ days. I try to schedule my own days but that’s the topic for another blog (more like a work rant). My kids do participate in activities. The one who just had foot surgery didn’t run cross country in the last meet but he did make it to piano lessons today. And he’ll be at trumpet tomorrow which is right after his younger brother has reading tutoring. So yes, I’m back to school myself in the age when most mothers live in the car. But although there are times when I feel overscheduled, I work to make sure my kids are not. Two music lessons and one sports activity is my threshold, unless they can transport themselves. Academic activities are another ball game though. This month we start academic games and my youngest starts CyberCorps. I’m still trying to figure out what CyberCorps is but it’s sponsored by the school, they only chose three 5th graders to participate and my youngest who used to hate school now wants to get there early, something about pod-casting and making movies on the computer. Children will let you know when they are overscheduled. They get tired, cranky, and just plain stubborn. I worry about those kids who don’t ever learn how to play without adult supervision. I had a good friend who watched some nieces and nephews. She has almost an acre of open land, perfect for exploring, running and being creative in. The poor overscheduled dears sat on her back porch and whined for their gameboys; no concept of tag, hide-and-seek, or other games that I grew up with. Of course, I can’t imagine the neighborhood reaction to the games that DH played in his neighborhood. They had an empty muddy lot next to his house, the Vietnam war was on TV every night, you can just imagine the excavations the kids did in that lot. He said it all stopped the day there was a cave-in and they all had to hurry and dig out one of the other boys. It would have been fine if one of the girls hadn’t tattled. Can you imagine the lawsuit that would result today from that kind of play?
Not just the danger of excavating but they were all playing soldiers with sticks for guns!
I think that not only do our kids need more unstructured time but we as parents need to unwind, relax and let kids live and do things. To quote Confessions of a Slacker Mom if you haven’t been to the ER by the time they’re eight, you’re overprotective.”

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