Nothing gives me a better laugh than reading stuff like "new studies show young children enjoy being with their mothers." Shocking!
However, the latest report in this week's TIME magazine was interesting. With all the nail-biting that goes on regarding the supposed loss of childhood, it was interesting to read that "despite all the dire warnings, most children flourish when their schedules are packed." (TIME, Cloud, p.51)
Frankly, my children are happiest when they are busy. We've always operated on a fairly tight schedule. Naptimes, mealtimes, playtime---all these things are scheduled. When my children were babies and toddlers, The Schedule was our salvation.
Now that they are older, they want to be busy. Almost daily, James asks for a run-down of the day's activities. The boy would go batty without a clear to-do list. As a result, we are productive, we are about 99% on-time to events, we multi-task.
For me, this is real world. As much as I'd like my children to loll about in the park all day, I have to ask myself: does this really prepare them for real life? If I let them skip homework, does this teach them the vital life skills they'll need to compete in the 21st century?
The reality is, we live in a fast-paced world. The children need discipline in order to succeed and the best way I know to teach discipline is through clear boundaries, expectations and scheduling.
Wow, does this mean I actually agree with the latest study? Shocking!