Liberty of choice

Can you imagine how is it like when someone makes your schedule? You can try an exercise: I’ll make your schedule for Saturday.
8 AM wake-up
10 AM grocery shopping
11 AM preparing the lunch
12 PM serving the lunch
02 PM going to swimming
03 PM going to an English course
05 PM cleaning the house
08 PM you go to a movie I pick – Star Wars 7
I had the chance to see how it feels when others make your program. Last week, at work, we had some visitors, of which I took care for a week. I picked them up from the hotel in the morning, drove them to the office, went from meeting to meeting according to their agenda. Then we had lunch and after the lunch we started an workshop. In the evening we went to a restaurant and then I took them back to the hotel. And that went on for a few days. Even though I had one or two “free” hours a day, I felt like I couldn’t do anything, and at the end of the day I would feel exhausted.
I imagined how is it like for the kids, who have their entire day scheduled: they go to school, come back from school, do their homework, go to swimming class, or dancing class or foreign languages or drawing…and their day is over. The next day is the same and so is their entire childhood. Their need for decision is completely annihilated. They have no chance to decide what to do with their time…and we want to raise them to be responsible adults that make their own decisions, but we fail to give them the chance to exercise with the small decisions.
Furthermore, we are getting them exhausted with every day.
I was talking to a mom in the park the other day and she told me her observation: “my kid works more than an adult in a day: he wakes up at 7 pm, and has a non-stop program until 9 am. He catches one or two free hours a day, when he finishes his homework earlier.” Probably their only “free” hours a day are those when they go from one activity to another. Is this what free hours mean?!
Kids need to have some control over their program, just like we do. Let’s start asking them more often: what do you want to do today? Where do you want us to go in the weekend? Where should we go in vacation?
Give them at least one “mom and child” day a month when they can decide what you do in that day together! I’m sure you’ll lay the foundation of an open communication relationship with your child.
What do you let your child decide?