Posted in Life, Thoughts

You Can Say No

I work in a gymnastics studio. This means I overhear many parents talking about how impossibly busy their lives are with running all their children to every extracurricular activity you can imagine every day. It sounds so exhausting and stressful. And unnecessary.

I want to remind them that they are the parent. Their child can grow into a well-rounded adult without having activities packed into every moment. It’s okay to say, “No, we need a night without commitments.” “No, we have other things to spend that money on.” Or just plain, “No.”

If you help your children choose their time commitments wisely, they are probably more likely to grow into adults who can make those decisions wisely for themselves. Because this goes for adults, too. If every moment of your week is filled with Something You Must Do, eventually you will overextend yourself. Time for God, time for friends, time for rest, time for quiet – these are important, too. Important for physical health, and spiritual health, and mental health, and emotional health.

Obviously different people thrive with different levels of busyness. I cannot tell you your limit or your child’s limit. But that limit exists, and consistently ignoring it will eventually cause problems.

Whether it’s for yourself or your child, it’s okay; you can say no.


3 thoughts on “You Can Say No

  1. I’m not going to say I completely disagree, and I’m not going to say I totally agree either… What I have learned is this: I was once in your shoes and now I’m on the other side. I spent over 10 years coaching in the gym, and now have been away from it for about 10. I have two littles of my own now at 5 and 2. It was much easier to pass judgement on the parents in the gym and think “oh you should just do or say x.” We quickly learned with our boys, it’s often times so much more complex than that.

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