In today's busy world, it is hard not to get caught up in the fast paced lifestyle. We have done the five sports' practices a week with a weekend full of church obligated activities and it was hard on the kiddos and us.
So, in the past few years, we have scaled back and taken a cue from our kiddos, relaxing and enjoying life rather than pushing through it, hoping to catch a glimpse of it in the drive thru or on the side lines.
We no longer push the kiddos to be involved in extra-curricular sports. Instead, we encourage them to be involved in school related activities, like orchestra or chorus. And our son recently joined Cub Scouts. Those activities are normally once or twice a week, right after school and they do not necessesarily push them to be competitive and harried, but are teaching them discipline, manners, life lessons that we want them learning, that we are teaching them at home and are glad they are being reinforced.
We are encouraging them to be more active at home by taking family walks and bike rides that foster relationships within our family instead of trying to compete against someone.
We are finding that we are more relaxed and enjoying life more now that our weekends are not packed and our weeknights are spent around the dinner table doing devotions and having family game night rather than in the stands or driving to the next even.
We know this season of calm may not last as our children are entering the preteen stages, but we hope to be able to encourage them to continue to not overbook their schedules and choose activities that inspire them, not overburden them. It has not been easy as my husband is a die hard sports fan and I loved seeing my daughter dance, but it has strengthened our family to slow down and live life at a slower pace*.
*Another thing we've done is taking time to read as a family and as individuals. We just finished Because of Winn Dixie. I am looking forward to reading Little House on the Freeway as it seems to be a great resource from Family Matters that gives families a look at slowing things down and even has a section for "101 Ways to Give Rest to Your Family".