Time to be themselves

Published by Lori Pickert on November 3, 2011 at 08:03 PM


The days of most middle-class children are filled with scheduled activities. Boy or Girl Scout meetings, music and dance lessons, organized sports all leave them hardly any time to be themselves. — Bruno Bettelheim

Not that children don’t enjoy scheduled activities, but how much time do we dedicate to letting them explore their own unique interests?

Scheduled group activities help us learn about other people, but time alone to explore what really matters to us helps us learn about ourselves. When we choose a college, choose a major, choose a career, we need that self-knowledge. Shared interests help us make friends, but our own distinctly individual interests help us make a life.


Comment by Liz on November 4, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Wow... so powerful yet so simple!
I have been following your blog for some time and every time I feel like you 'hit the nail on the head'. THANK YOU!!!

Comment by Lori Pickert on November 4, 2011 at 01:33 PM

thank you, liz!

Comment by Anne T. on November 4, 2011 at 03:25 PM

I'm struggling with this. My 4 year old is very extroverted and a bit of a perfectionist. It is exhausting trying to keep up with his need for interaction and the fact that he has a hard time working with anything he can't get exactly right. I know he needs time to deepen, but there are so many activities I could put him in to give me a "break" and several people in our life are wondering why I don't

Comment by Kelly on November 4, 2011 at 06:45 PM

Since moving we've stopped all club activities unless specifically asked for by the children. One still loves horse riding, one swimming and one goes to an Art Club. That's it.

We used to be out every night except one, and I used to spend my time going back and forth and wondering if it was worth it.

This is a great post, and with a great idea behind it. Looking forward to your book!

Comment by Lori Pickert on November 4, 2011 at 07:36 PM

anne, i don't know what you've experienced but i found that most adult-organized classes and activities offered very little opportunity for the kids to interact, play, get to know one another, etc.

even the very kid-oriented, hands-on type activities were, in the end, pretty tightly controlled by adults. there was usually not enough time for kids to just play together. there's always a time constraint and things always seem a bit rushed.

thank you, kelly! i want to leave you a more substantial comment but i'm going to hold onto it for tomorrow. lol. ;^)

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