The first is The Over-Scheduled Child by Alvin Rosenfeld, MD and Nicole Wise. I first read about this book over at The Thinking Mother. And I just felt like I needed to read this book too.
Boy, oh boy, am I ever glad that I did. This is an issue I struggle with a lot. Part of me wants to sign each of my children up for a million activities so that they can get ahead or even sometimes just to let them keep up. But yet, I don't like running around all the time. I get frazzled and warn out and crabby and irritable, so it's always been a struggle for me to figure out what to do. Most of the time though we have budget constraints so the kids can't do too many things. It's just how it goes. But I know if money weren't the issue, our lives would look much different.
And now, well, I'm sort of glad I had those budget constraints! After reading this book, I really feel that for many things, less is more. My kids don't need all the activities and our family doesn't need all those activities. A lot of parts of this book spoke to me. Of course, it was a library book so I could write all over it, but boy, did I want to LOL!
One quote I'll share:
Even 'fun' has become a serious endeavor that we parents feel must be carefuly planned for, that we understand we must work hard to achieve. Advertisers, marketers, and entrepreurs capitalize on the fact that we are so pressed for time by promising to provide pleasure in a package for the whole family to enjoy. They cater to the fantasy that, like a well-run business, we can all maximize profit by good planning ('guaranteed to manufacture good memories!')
But yes I loved this book.
On a side note, this was my 52nd book of the year which means I met my goal! Woo-hoo! =)
A second a book I read (which I picked up when I got Over-Scheduled Child) is Too Much of a Good Thing by Dan Kindlon. The book basically talks about problems associated with over-indulgence - of money, of parental involvement, of not have parental-involvement, etc, etc. Again, I thought this book was another great read. Although I will admit this one can be a bit scarier - talking about how over-indulgence leads to sex, drugs, drinking at young ages, lower SAT scores, inability to function later in life, etc, etc. I tried to read it without feeling too anxious about all that he was saying and focus on the parts of the book that focused on the suggestions for good he made. First quote:
Today's role models are people like Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, and Jennifer Lopez - people with stupendous wealth, outstanding talent, and whose names are on all our tongues. We're not emulating Jesus and Buddha. Our kids don't have pictures of the pope or Mother Teresa on their walls. We've seen a shift from concern about character to a fixation on wealth, status, celebrity, and power.and
In our age of indulgence it is almost as though our kids are being spoiled just by breathing the atmosphere. Their sense of entitlement is inbred. How many of us have watched uor kids ripping into their presents on Christmas or Hanukah and then just tossing them aside. The getting, not the having, is what matters to them. Their behavior is a reflection of our society. We often seem insatiable. 'Enough is enough!' we want to say to our kids. But how many of us, as parents, live our lives that way?Oh yeah, both hit me pretty hard. Parts of this book seemed to speak so deeply to me. And it's good. It is. I think I needed to read both of these books. I think I needed to get the main message from each author. I need to look at myself first. And we are, trust me, dh and I are.
My family is in the midst of lots of changes ... but more on that coming soon!