If you’re not careful, their whole lives get filled up.
Soccer practice. School. Cello lessons. Chores at home. After all, you don’t want them in front of screens all day. You want them to make something of themselves. You don’t want them to waste their life or fall behind.
But again, you have to be careful. We look back and judge past generations who used children as labor… meanwhile, we have turned a generation of kids into unpaid interns to increase their chances of getting into a good college. Even 2000 years ago, Plutarch was warning parents overschedule and overplan their kid’s lives. “Children must be given some breathing space from continued tasks,” he wrote, “for we must bear in mind that our whole life is divided between relaxation and application.”
Do you do your best work when you are exhausted and stretched too thin? Are you happy when your calendar is full? Aren’t you tired of running them from place to place? Imagine how they feel! Remember: It’s hard to be a kid. They don’t even fully understand what stress is, what burnout is. So it’s incumbent upon you to protect them from it.
Give them space. Give them the opportunity to relax. That’s your job.
P.S. This was originally sent on January 6, 2021. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”