Wednesday, September 14, 2016

this isn't easy

I wouldn't say that parenting gets any easier, exactly, as my kids get older. It's certainly true that as Daniel and Anya are more self-sufficient about various aspects of their day (getting to and from school, helping with after dinner cleanup), the other stuff is getting more complicated. 

Daniel is starting to have trouble getting to sleep, which has me a little anxious. Is it because he's ten years old and his internal clock is shifting (he also usually gets up later than the rest of us)? Is it because he's getting too much computer time? Is it because he doesn't get enough time outside? Is it because he's still adjusting to the school routine, even though he says nothing causes him anxiety? All of the above?  

Most [middle class] kids have the problem of being over scheduled, but I fear that in my efforts to keep our lives from being overrun with extra activities, I swung the other way. Daniel's soccer team dissolved last year and he's not doing another organized sport, so other than piano practice and homework (which there isn't much of at all) he doesn't have much to keep him busy. There aren't many kids his age in the immediate neighborhood, and a lot of them aren't available to hang out after school because they are playing sports and whatnot themselves. 

Well, I'm not comfortable saying much more for the sake of my kid's privacy. I probably revealed too much already. 

It's just that I'm not sure what to do. I'd love to see him get on his bike and spend the whole afternoon building a fort in the woods nearby or playing pickup soccer games with his friends but these days that doesn't happen so easily. Other kids are too busy, parents are too protective, or something. Maybe we need more structure after all.

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