"Play is a child's work"
This short quote by Jean Piaget says so much about children. Play is one of the most important things in a child's life, it's right up there with nourishment, shelter, and love. I wrote about the importance of play in this article telling about how crucial free play is for the well-being of children. I know from experience how hard it can be as a parent to sit back a relax and just let our kids be.
For so many reasons, family life is hectic in our society today. Just living with kids can be busy enough but then dealing with school, homework, play dates, and extracurricular activities on top of normal crazy life can be too much for kids that just want and need free play.
I was reading this article by Beth Berry on the pressure we are receiving as parents to enroll our kids in an array of activities and as nice as it is for them to try different sports, instruments, or art forms, this kind of busy schedule can easily get out of control and become overwhelming for many children. And let's not even get started on the additional monetary pressure for parents. In the article, Beth does the math with her four kids for one activity a season and the price is astounding.
My thoughts on this are that there must be a better way for parents and children to enjoy life and still feel fulfilled. Although Beth solved her problem by moving her family to Mexico where the culture and people are much more relaxed, and that might be pretty extreme for some, for us, focusing on slowing things down worked just fine.