Benjamin Franklin once said, “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings.”
I don’t think Ben had this new breed of over-scheduled, overworked, overloaded and just plain “over it” kids in mind when he said that.
If I had a penny for every time I heard parents complain that their kids are over-scheduled, I’d be rich. Not just mildly wealthy but filthy, stinking, lottery-winning rich. “My daughter goes from home, to school, to tutorials, then to sports, then to violin lessons and doesn’t get home until 8:30pm.” No, that’s not my 16 year old I’m talking about. That’s the mother of a 4th grader.
Who’s to blame? Is it our competitive world where high SAT scores are treated with the same reverence as ones social stature? Is it busy parents who feel the need to keep their kids over-scheduled so they can keep up with their own demanding lives? Is it bragging rights? Is it a contest to see whose kid can handle more and come out on top? I believe it’s a combination of all of the above and more. I know I’m old fashioned and I come from a much simpler time, but when is too much really too much?
Old Ben was right about something
The busier we are at Kids These Days, the happier and more creative we get. Currently, we are in design mode for next season and our hands, and minds are overworked. Samantha and I are at our best when we’re crazy busy. We’re more efficient with our time management. We’re more careful of the choices we make and more inspired by everything and everyone around us. Living in South Florida, inspiration is EVERYWHERE!
During quieter times, I found myself binge watching all 5 seasons of Breaking Bad in an extremely short period of time. Hey Ben, my hands weren’t totally idle. I had to push play from episode to episode!
We all have a lot on our plates. Our goal as parents is to keep the amount on our kid’s plates to a manageable yet satisfying amount. Our goal as business owners is to keep it full enough to manage without getting indigestion. Let’s all step back and remember to enjoy the journey.
After reading the above, this old Mommalie will take on an entirely new meaning when you say it to your kid.
“Clean your plate.”
Hint: We parents might need to clean a little off their plates before dishing it out!