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Jesus Creed

How Busy of a Parent are you?

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Now our questions: What have you learned that balances your busy schedule with kids?

What are the mistakes to avoid?

What are the best things about the flourish of activities when the kids are on the go all the time?

I have to confess: we were very busy with our kids, but it was lots of fun all the same.

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posted April 18, 2009 at 12:54 pm

My only observation after taking one child up to college age is don’t think that toddlers and small children take up more time than teenagers. Actually teens take more time because they can’t just be bundled up and taken with you to accomplish your agenda. They have their own agenda and if you are lucky they will try to get you to engage with it. I was lucky enough to be able to retire from work when my daughter was a Jr. in High School. I will never regret the time I had with her during the rest of High School.

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robert gelinas--jazztheologian

posted April 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm

As the father of nine children between the ages of 4-11, I’ve learned that you can’t have it all.
Each night we sit down for dinner together and and each child knows that they will have what we call “special time” in which they will have our undivided attention for their needs and desires.
We have has to cap extra-curricular activities for the same of being a family, getting homework done and to reduce the stress.

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posted April 18, 2009 at 9:18 pm

We have 4 children 10 months, 2 yr, 7yr, and 10 yrs old. Balancing time is a challenge. For our older kids, we have said they can be involved in one extra curricular activity at a time because we don’t want to be out every night of the week and be stressed getting homework done, eating fast food, etc. Just not the life style we want for our family, So far, our kids understand. We know the challenges will change when they are teenagers. We try and have a “date night” once a month. We try and give each other some individual time as we can. Not a whole lot of spare time built in. We also try and do things individually with the kids as we can. Doing things as a family is important. We made a decision not to have cable tv because we didn’t want it using up our family time. We like to do things outdoors, work in the garden, ride bikes, throw football. We don’t have any video games. So far, our kids don’t complain much. We certainly don’t have all the answers, but we are trying to be conscious of the decisions we make.

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posted April 19, 2009 at 12:39 am

We have two children almost grown, (one 19 and the other 15). We have focused on the children and their needs, their activities. Much of our community involvement focused on their interests. We were involved in the booster clubs, sports that our children were interested and participating in.
We also made a conscious choice to not worry about having a spotless house and similar household chores and errands. We also realize we have children who have been easy to be with, they enjoy spending time with us and we enjoy spending time with them. We play games, eat meals together regularly (as they became involved in high school activities, breakfast became more important both for the meal but also for the family time, but we still ate dinner together at least 4 nights a week.
Flexibility has been a key. What works now, may not work in a year. Being willing to adjust and plan and talk about options, lay down ground rules about what wouldn’t work etc. has also been vital.

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posted April 19, 2009 at 8:17 am

as our four children grow older (10, 13, 16, 20) we tell them and each other that our main job is to work ourselves out of a job – to help them become responsible citizens and able to make the transition to college well. After age 12 they do their own laundry and I don’t make much of a fuss over cleaning bedrooms. We try to stick to one extracurricular activity, but with our high school age child its difficult.
Like Diane, the house is not spotless, but we do eat 4-5 meals together each week. Being in full time youth and family ministry I have a bit more flexibility to be a chaparone during the week and attending school activities is also a great way to be in touch with families in the community.
I don’t know how single parent households can do it…I thank God each day for my husband and the balance that he provides.

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posted April 19, 2009 at 11:43 am

Yes, balance is what I pray for every day. I am a single parent of an 11 year old. She plays softball which all the games are during the week. To gain energy I try to put in a 15 min walk or talk with friends during the day. During the game is also my social time with other parents. Its a fun community and look forward to more activities as she gets older. Since it is just she and I there is alot of focused time when I can share my experience and guide her as she tackles the first signs of hormones and realizing she is changing. I don’t pay too close attention to household duties during the week and we have a fun time shopping at the grocery store during the weekend. Yes, I agree that I’m working myself out of a job and teaching her how to be independent (but she is already independent minded).

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esther kimathi

posted April 21, 2009 at 5:47 am

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