Families Are Too Busy and It’s Impacting Your Kids

Families Are Too Busy and It’s Impacting Your Kids

I recently came across an article on YourModernFamily.com by writer Becky Mansfield which gave some enlightening information on how today’s families are too busy.

She shares that after recently moving into a family-friendly neighborhood, she asked one of the mothers next door if their daughters could get together and play. She assumed the response would be immediate, and the girls could get together that same day.

Instead, she was shocked when the mother pulled out her cell phone and began scrolling and scrolling and scrolling for what seemed like forever before finally responding, “She has a 45-minute opening two and half weeks from now. The rest of the time gymnastics, piano, and voice lessons. She’s just so busy.”

I wish I could say I haven’t experienced the same situation in my life, but I suspect most of us have by now.

Furthermore, when you discuss how today’s families are too busy with families that are…well…too busy, you’re often met with defensiveness (a key indicator of guilt) and anger as though you just accused them of insider trading.

While there are some excellent pros for your child to have a busier social calendar than most adults, such as encouraging positive habits, developing interests, and understanding time management, there are some compelling cons as well.

Overscheduling a child’s time doesn’t promote unstructured play, which is often linked to social development and problem-solving.

It increases pressure on parents, who, after a long workweek, are now carting children here, there, and everywhere without any downtime for themselves to relax or take care of household chores.

But perhaps the most concerning con in supporting that families are too busy is how it triggers stress, anxiety, and even depression in young children. Study after study has revealed how overscheduling a child’s time increases the anxiety and depression many are already feeling – even those at a very young age.

Mansfield says, “Whatever happened to a world in which kids get muddy, get dirty, get messy, and heavens, get bored? Do we love our children so much that we overschedule them, making them stressed and busy – just like us?”

When I was a child, boredom ignited my imagination and creativity. I genuinely enjoyed nature’s wonders instead of glued to a screen just watching it. Perhaps most importantly, I had plenty of downtimes to breathe and reflect – even at a young age – and I can tell you that the benefits were profound. I grew up understanding the value of simplicity, family time, alone time, and being bored from time to time.

As we mature, life will inevitably bring about its share of stress and anxiety for all of us. So why would we want to expose our children to such a lesson prematurely?