Saturdays With Kids: The General Runaround
My son Bailey (age 10) exists at a low hum. By this I mean that he only has two speeds: ON and sleeping. He’s constantly on the go and he is moving every second of the day. The child can participate in seven races in a swim meet and then ask us what we’re doing in the afternoon. My daughter, Sydney (age 7) is active and busy, but not to the same extent. She actually needs more sleep in a night.
Recently our Sundays have taken on a pattern with the kids. Both of them go to Sunday School at the Jewish Center in Tokyo for most of the morning. Up until recently that was all they did until it was time for soccer in the late afternoon. Sydney plays with the British Football Academy from 2:30 to 3:30 and Bailey from 3:30-5:00. Now, however, we have found out that the winter basketball program in which Bailey participated last year moved from Saturdays to Sundays. Luckily it’s from 1:00 to 2:30 so it does not interfere with either Sunday school or soccer, which is year-round.
There are a few other families who take soccer with our kids – two of which have a younger girl and an older boy. Most weekends, since it’s 5pm by the time we are done, we get together and order in dinner. The kids play together and the grownups have a glass or two of wine together. It’s very congenial and easygoing. Dinner ends by 8pm because everyone has school and work the next day.
If you can believe it, I agreed to this insane schedule.
But what am I supposed to do? Should I force Bailey to rest because I feel it’s too much activity for one day? He doesn’t need the rest. Frankly, when we had our first Sunday of it last week, Bailey was so tired by 8:30pm that he asked to go to bed. It might have been the first time ever. He slept well and had no ill effects for the start of the week.
All of this over-scheduling worries me though. The kid is part of the school ensemble, plays table tennis, takes violin and Japanese lessons, and goes to mid-week Hebrew school. That’s all Monday through Friday and doesn’t include the weekends. He then asks if he can have tennis lessons sometime.
Sydney takes a dance class after school and participates in a dancing and acting group outside of school. She also takes violin and Japanese lessons. She’s less scheduled, but still has a lot of activities.
The kids are so happy though, and all of this is within our budget. They get some time for creative play in there. I guess we’re lucky because beyond nightly reading, my kids don’t have homework because they go to a Montessori school. The common Montessori philosophy states that children work hard enough during the day and don’t need homework beyond the learning they do with Mom and Dad anyway – and reading. The kids are happy and well-adjusted, or so they seem now.
Marc and I have decided to let them do what they want to do and are able to do now, and then as they get older and necessarily have to give up some things to accommodate schoolwork and the like, we’ll deal with it then. Some people might think we’re crazy, but this is what works for us.
I welcome your comments and opinions and experiences.