What do you say to the child that loves to dance, but is visibly exhausted by the end of a long week of practice?
What do you say to the child that wants to do nothing but sit on the couch and watch TV or play on their iPad?
Does running from activity to activity make them fussy and standoffish? Will they have enough physical and brain power to complete their homework?
You can’t ignore YOUR time and mental needs, either. Will running from activity to activity affect your work productivity or make you a constant grump?
Overscheduling CAN work for you, and it CAN work for your child.
Overscheduling can also be utterly detrimental to your mental state and piss your child off.
If you wonder whether you are overscheduling your children, here’s a little quiz:
I HAVE to push my children when they are young:
(a) to teach them a work ethic.
(b) to help them find passion and drive and encourage success later in life.
(c) to zap away any fun and interrupt their organic learning and growth.
(d) because it’s what everyone else is doing and I’m scared that I’m messing my kids up if I don’t expose them to everything NOW.
In this episode of 'I am the Worst Parent Ever' podcast, Robert shares why “ignoring sunk costs" can help you put these decisions into perspective. Imagine your daughter wants to quit after one half-tried day of Karate but you just dropped $100 for a month of lessons. Is this time to teach a lesson about “why we keep our commitments”? Are you driven by the prospect of throwing away your hard-earned $100? Or what is best for your child?
If you invest your time and energy (and money!) but the situation changes, ignoring sunk costs allows you to make the NEXT decision based on where you are NOW, not because you “owe” anything to some previous decision. Those costs are already sunk! Think hard about whose needs you serve when you decide whether or not to push your child.
Robert and Nicole admit to struggle to balance their desire to breed, raise, and develop well-rounded, experienced, driven children while still allowing them to develop their interests and sort out their passions organically.
What if we listened more and involved our kids in these decisions? What would happen if we flipped the script to follow their self-developed plan?
And then there’s the GUILT! Is there really a better and WORSE way to decide how to handle these situations with their children? Are you actually, truly, possibly THE WORST PARENT EVER? (hint: that’s the guilt talking)
Each child actually IS unique. How you operate your home and how busy or unbusy your family is up to you. It’s just about making decisions (on purpose when you can). You are being ENTIRELY appropriate.
When you push your children at a healthy level -- which is a different level for every child -- and you listen to your heart AND YOUR CHILD and work together through any daunting expectations, real or fabricated fears, you really ARE supporting their personal growth.
Now go out there and get busy (or don't). It's entirely up to you and your loved ones. These are big decisions but that’s why you’re getting paid the big bucks (haha). There is no wrong answer here if you are operating with everyone's best interest at heart.
Is this podcast for you?
Have you ever said,