This mum doesn’t want her kids to do any after-school activities. Does she need help?
My kids don’t do any before or after school activities at all and they never will. I don’t think this makes me a bad parent, but not everyone agrees.
I’m giving my children the same upbringing I experienced. My sisters and I didn’t do anything while all our friends signed up for Girl Guides, netball and dance classes. We spent every spare moment making up games, hanging out at home, playing in the back yard and visiting relatives.
Children do too many activities. I have some friends who drive their children around to various activities every weekday, plus weekend sport. When do they get to relax? Sunday? One day a week? There's got to be more to life than that.
I have three children, so if they all do one activity each I will be sentencing myself to the same miserable existence as my over-scheduled friends and for what? So they can play a wind instrument for a few years and never touch it again? So they can play soccer only to abandon it when they become adults?
If my children are interested any pursuits they can do it under their own steam when they are much older, when it can actually lead to something. Right now, they are 14, 12 and 5 they are happy, healthy and looked after.
Sometimes my daughter who is 12 asks about dance classes and when I say 'no' she simply makes up her own routines at home. It's a pleasure to see.
I have freed up my children's spare time so they can think, relax, chill, imagine... If others did this, they'd save themselves a heck of a lot of stress and pressure as well as save themselves thousands of dollars.
BUT, I am under pressure from my husband and some of my friends to change my stance. They think my kids are missing out, and worry that they're too 'different' from the kids around them. My husband, in particular, is keen for our oldest son to start football this season.
Should I stand firm? Do you agree that after-school activities have become too important?
Keep reading our parenting dilemmas: