Myth #1: To be a good parent I have to get my child involved in many outside activities.
Observation: We live in a consumer economy. That means there are always a lot of options for our children’s time. There is the plethora of sporting activities: baseball (spring, winter, fall), basketball (spring, winter, fall), football, gymnastics,… vying for their participation. There are dance lessons, music lessons. There are summer camps of great variety. There are even advanced academic classes (often in the summer) that are designed to give their children a jump start.
Observation: Today’s parents feel pressure to have their children in many of these activities. They think, “What good parent wouldn’t give their children every opportunity to better themselves and perhaps give them a jump start in life.
Problem: Now it must be said that the activities in themselves are not bad, nor is a parent’s desire to encourage their child’s development an evil. But the problem comes with what price we have to pay. Many of the activities today ask for a lot. The coach of the little league says you have to be present at every practice and every game or you’re out. He wants commitment and so parents who want to be good parents make that happen. But consider the costs. I’ve watched families run from activity to activity not even having time to eat a meal together. Is that really what God calls us to? (more…)