Was reading a recent article about our incessant need to be busy or at least claim to be busy (crazy busy!) and how some transfer this anxiety about idle time to their kids, turning all their potential spare time into blocks of preprogrammed time. Our household suffers from over programming. We overextend ourselves and constantly feel harried and then complain about it, just like this article suggests.
I think about the summers of my youth and how one, maybe two weeks were planned and the rest was just gathered locally with other wayward kids and farting around the neighbourhood. Did we get into trouble? A little bit, but we survived the biking too fast skinned knees and magnifying glass burns on our hands just fine. Idle time was not dangerous; it was an opportunity to create games out of nothing, adventures out of pointed sticks and garbage can lids.
Gang of cousins (and aunts and uncles) not bored at cottage this past weekend
Now I don’t want to get all when I was your age on my kids, but I do not see the same inspired creativity out of potential boredom strategy developing. And to be honest, they have about two separate weeks all summer where we don’t have them in some sort of stimulation bucket, whether it be day camp or weeks away with mine or Steph’s parents – so we can assume the fear of idle time responsibility.
This week is one of those weeks where they have nothing scheduled. Wanted to bridge the gap from structured school to structured programs with one week of potential all day, pajama wearing or sweaty bike rides, or, hopefully, some sort of game or adventure where one of them is a robot and one of them is a shark named Balthazar.
Are your kids over-programmed in the summer or do you allot some weeks of just plain boring old fun?