Many families today are suffering from the stress of too many activities. Our demanding work schedules have negatively impacted our personal time and commitments. Our children’s afterschool and weekend activities have begun to be as demanding as our work schedules. Families today are different from those in previous decades.
- In most families, both parents work outside the home.
- There are many more structured activities today than ever before.
- We have become accustomed to overbooking, multi-tasking, and needing to fill every hour on our schedule with activities.
- Parents feel pressured to provide a wide variety of extracurricular activities for their children.
- Parents need their children involved in afterschool activities because they work full-time.
Many families feel as if they are running from one activity to the next, with little or no time to simply enjoy being home together. With so much time filled up with activities, parents have fewer opportunities to build relationships with their kids.
When children are so busy with activities, they have little time for reflecting, imagining, and dreaming. All kids need time to be alone, interact with family members, and relax.
WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS THAT YOUR FAMILY IS OUT OF BALANCE?
Each family must decide for itself what constitutes a life out of balance. Each person has his or her own level of tolerance for busyness and activity. The same level of activity may cause tremendous stress in one family but feel energizing to another.
If you or your family members are feeling any of the following warning signs, you may wish to consider slowing your life down and restoring a sense of balance.
- Irritability or aggressive behavior
- Feeling tired all the time
- Stomachaches or ulcers
- Withdrawing from people
- Always feeling hurried
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Biting fingernails or other nervous habit
In the next article, we will discuss what you can do to restore family balance and improve your relationship with your children.