The last week of the school year is always massive, especially as we live in a small community. The busyness kicked off Saturday night with a Christmas party, followed by carols by candlelight Sunday night, school carols Monday, school beach day Tuesday, community carols Wednesday and an extra dance rehearsal, graduation ceremony and celebration for the senior students and then end of year mass followed by a celebratory lunch Friday and finally a dance concert Saturday evening, not to mention just the normal every day and after school stuff.
Needless to say my children are exhausted.
There are times in our lives where we are extremely busy and then there should be times when we can relax, take some time out and just be. I have known people who, as my Grandma would have said are “Flat out looking busy”, but not actually doing anything. Then of course there are the people who are actually too busy to notice life passing them by and never take time out.
After one of our busiest week of the year our family rested, relaxed, we slept in, we swam, we read, we played, we walked along the beach and we were able to just be. We had nowhere to be and we were not bound by time restraints. We were on holidays and loving every minute of it. We didn’t go far and we didn’t spend a fortune. We did have a great time. We did enjoy each other’s company. We were together. We were living in the moment.
Mind you, my daughter’s idea of relaxation is a little different to mine. I could easily stroll along the beach, read, partake in yoga; her idea of relaxation – surfing, jogging, football, cricket – all those things I have spent her life encouraging her to do and now she considers them a form of relaxation. Hmmm?
Back to these people who are flat out looking busy, but not actually achieving anything, I still don’t understand the need of people to schedule an activity for every minute of their children’s lives. Is this over-scheduling a need to keep up with the neighbours and what little Johnny is doing or are the children actually asking to undertake all these activities? Extra activities should be activities that the child wants to do, not because Dad or Mum never reached their full potential and are placing unreal expectations on their children.
Research has shown that many children who are over-scheduled are often constantly tired and may be at a higher risk of developing stress or anxiety. Studies have also shown that children who have more ‘free time’ are more creative than children who are participating in too many structured activities, structured children are unable to entertain themselves and don’t generally have the skills to problem solve and find activities own their own.
Now I know that I began this article whinging and whining about how busy the last week of school was – but that’s the thing, it was only one week, not an everyday occurrence and like I said at the beginning, there will be times when we are extraordinarily busy, but there should be times when we can just be.