How much is too much? A post on entertaining children.

by Lesley on October 8, 2012 · 12 comments

in motherhood

We have an official toddler in the house. I think I mentioned last week that Anna is most definitely mobile now, all over the house walking, pulling papers off my desk, and transferring toys from one room to the next. I’m just waiting for the day I can’t find my cell phone or keys because she’s placed them in the toilet.

Another way I know Anna is a toddler is by how much she understands. Last week she figured out how to climb the play structure at the park and use the slides. I ended up taking her every single afternoon, and by the third day when I put her in the stroller to go home, she began crying. And she’s cried upon leaving everyday since then. Toddler? I think so. She also recognizes the phrase, “Do you want to watch Sesame Street?!” The response comes in the form of bouncing and pointing at the TV.

(Sidenote: I realize kids aren’t supposed to watch TV until they’re two. According to a poll by the New York Times, 90% of parents let their under two year old children watch TV, and I’m one of them. Here’ s a great post about that. I figure, 15-20 minutes a few times a week isn’t going to kill her.)

Anyhoo-where was I? Oh yes, the real reason for this post.

It’s Monday, and I love reading Cup of Jo’s Motherhood Monday series. In the past I’ve been hesitant to spend a lot of time blogging about mom related issues because I don’t want to leave any of my non-mom friends out of the conversation. After thinking about my mission last week, I’ve decided to write parenting posts on Mondays. Mothering is now very much a part of my everyday life, and I think a lot of you can relate. I hope these posts will be encouraging, uplifting and helpful.

Today’s topic is more of a poll, I suppose. I’m curious for your thoughts. I’ve received a few emails over the last year from moms who pass along info about classes or activities for children such as Kindermusic, art classes, or baby gym memberships. Part of me likes the idea of participating in these kinds of things. Now that Anna is more active I know she’d probably love all these activities. But, another part of me scoffs at the idea.

As a toddler I only remember taking swim lessons in the summer, and one or two ballet classes. It seems like there are so many options now for kids, and many of them are super expensive. And, it sometimes seems like other parents feel like the activities are absolutely necessary for their children’s long term success in life. My first internal reaction to these invitations is, “I didn’t do music classes, so Anna doesn’t need them either,” but then I wonder if now is the time to expose her to a variety of activities so we can allow her to develop her talents and interests. We’ve been going to a free weekly music class at the library which seems to be the best no-guilt solution.

Moms and Dads out there, what do you think? Are young children these days too scheduled? Do they need expensive classes to succeed as an adult? Do you use classes as a way to give yourself a break over anything else? Do you find free options in your community? I’d love your thoughts! 

[photo taken last May at Mr. Cooper’s FREE music class at the South Land Park Library.]

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