What are we parents sacrificing when we pack our schedules full of activities designed to help our teenagers get ahead? And how do these regrets impact our kids?
6 Regrets About the Daily Grind:
1. We rarely eat dinner together.
The research shows that eating together as a family, at least a few times a week, goes a long way toward improving teenager’s health and well-being. Teenagers that dine with their parents on a regular basis have better grades and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
2. We’ve given up a lot of time with friends and family because of our teen’s sports (dance, theater, debate) schedule.
Between driving to practices, attending games that are on weekends in remote locations, there’s just not time to get the family together for dinner or to go out on Saturday with another couple. We love watching him play and are glad that he’s doing something he loves, but we’ve lost the balance.
3. We used to have family game night.
Now our kids are studying or doing homework. (This is a tough one, as by high school your student has no choice but to get the homework completed. Make your concerns known to your high school’s administration. Also, encourage teenagers to take a balanced load of coursework that allows for downtime and family time.)
4. We stopped taking family vacations.
We couldn’t figure out how to shoehorn it in with all of the activities that our kids participated in.
5. I sometimes help too much with my teen’s homework, even though I know it’s wrong.
She’s just so busy.
6. I keep pushing, even though my teen is miserable.
I can’t help myself.
Maybe it’s time to rethink our choices. The best place to start may just be a family meeting where parents and teenagers can discuss each concern and brainstorm solutions.