www.herald-journal.com
We are too busy to be busy
Nov. 7, 2016
by Jenni Sebora

It has been a while since I have connected via this column.

Three children at different stages in their lives, a busy job, and multiple committee involvements finds me with limited spare time, and it seems, never enough time to complete daily task lists. It really comes down to what is necessary to get done each day – prioritizing.

This is a great, actually, a necessary skill to teach our children, as well.

When kids are in school, their schedules get full – school (just being in school is a full-time job when speaking of time commitment), homework, sports practices, games, matches, drama rehearsal, choir practice, band rehearsal, religion study, not to mention, dinner, and some downtime . . . the list goes on.

Our kids feel this pressure, so we, as parents and adults, need to help them step back, take a deep breath, and help them prioritize their agendas.

Prioritizing their daily agendas is very important, but it may also be necessary to help our children look at their involvement in activities, which may mean they can’t be in everything.

We may have to help them ask themselves questions to help them determine what activities best fit with their own goals, enjoyment, and benefits.

How much time commitment is involved? What is the monetary cost? Does it bring enjoyment? Will it enhance your life? Is the gain greater than what you lose to commit to that activity?

These are appropriate questions to help children when determining what activities are worth their time and energy.

Experts convey that it is extremely important at all stages of a child’s life that they have downtime. It is OK for them to be bored. This is what allows them to use their imaginations and creativity.

When one of my children say, “I’m bored,” I say, “Good.” It is about time.

As an adult, I wish I would be bored sometimes, so I guess that goes to say that we, as adults, have to also do the same – prioritize.

Learning to say “no” can be difficult, but it is also necessary. If we commit to many things, then we are actually taking away from everything. If that makes sense.

We need to help our children to decide what is most important to them, and what the goals are of the activities they choose to be in. Do they line up with their personal values, and what they think is important?

At the end of the day, it is important to always take a breather – whether it is reading a book, listening to music, or meditating. (Whatever that means for you. For me, it means just closing my eyes, taking some deep breaths, and relaxing.)

This is what I tell my children when they are also feeling overwhelmed with just the day-to-day responsibilities, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, most things are the small stuff.”

And always remember to laugh every day – important advice.


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