Are you upset because your daughter has too much free time this summer?
I get it. You want your daughter on the “college” track. Sooooooooo…. she should be highly scheduled attending camps, events, and activities,etc.
It would give her more stories. More bullets on her resume. And she will look more “well rounded” for her applications.
However, it’s very easy to over schedule. Scroll through a Mommy Facebook group and you find 100 things to do with your family. I found myself falling into this trap recently. I was contemplating signing my daughter up for an 8am soccer class during the summer. DURING THE SUMMER?? Am I crazy? I shouldn’t be getting up before 10am after a busy school year.
The soccer class isn’t going to make a difference. Great exercise. Great opportunity to socialize. But it’s not enough to convince me to get my daughter up before dawn.
But then I made the mistake and started talking with friends. I found out all of the cool things they are doing with their kids. And the pressure began.
So I turned off my Facebook feed. lol.
Why you want to examine overscheduling
It’s super easy to fall into this trap. You only want the best for your kids. And our social groups and friends feed into this anxiety. Everyone feels that they need to a long list of activities in order to look good on college applications.
It might help. But it might also create undue stress. You can find your eight weeks of summer booked too quickly. Like a prisoner home on a 24 hour leave. Trying to engage in a lifetime of activity in a few hours.
So let me offer a recommendation.
Let your daughter have time to be BORED
Yes, you will have to create a structure around this “freedom”. No vegging out in front of the television for hours. No surfing the web and talking to friends on the phone for hours.
But encourage her to think creatively about how she can spend her time.
- Does she love to perform? Great. Put on a performance for her family or a few people in the neighborhood.
- Does she want to get creative with something she learned on Pinterest? Great. Let her loose in a craft or hobby store
- Does she want get dirty and plant a garden? Get some seeds, water and start experimenting.
As the parent, you’ll need to create age appropriate boundaries and guidance. Offer her $10-20 and set her loose in a dollar store once she gets her initial idea.
An option if you don’t want to commit to an entire summer
So try it for a day or two this summer. And let her uncover her hidden gifts and talents. She might just develop a new talent or interest. And I’m betting that she will end up with great stories – stories that will lead to more doors opening in her future.