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  • Andrew Casteel

Learning to Balance

Updated: Sep 14


Balance has been difficult lately. When my son started preschool, he also started a new defiant streak. He wasn't alone. Our coop community can ask for parent ed sessions with the director, Mame. Another parent asked for a session on defiance, which was helpful in many ways, most of all hearing that we were not alone in our plight. After that session I started to look at the pattern of his defiance. Most of his defiance came when we were running late between activities. This was happening more often as he had preschool 4 days a week. Add that to speech therapy 2 times a week, soccer tots and swimming class and it became clear that he was just overscheduled. It reminded me of the advice my mentor teacher gave me back in grad school, "Doing the right things is less important than doing the things right." There's a million different things you could be doing as a parent for your child. Speech class, soccer tots and swimming class are all "the right things" but when it's too much they're not helping anybody. We cancelled one of his speech classes and moved his soccer tots to Sunday to spread out the week and give him some more breathing room. His defiance calmed down almost immediately. We didn't feel rushed and were getting more out of all the activities we still did together. Less really is more. So don't worry about doing all the right things. Worry about doing the things you choose to do the right way. You'll feel more relaxed and less rushed and so will your kid.

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