Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Parenting in Today's Busy World

Life has changed a lot for parents over the past 50 years.

Many of the changes have made life easier for today's parents.

However, life is a lot busier than it was 50 years ago and nowhere is that more evident than in the land of parenting.

When I was a child, there were a few sports and other organized activities for kids.

Families nearly always ate dinner together each night and many grandparents lived nearby.

My family was a little different than the average family of the '50s and '60s.

Dad was in the Army and we moved a lot. We lived in the same town with my Mom's parents and grandmother briefly, but they were far away most of the time.

Like any big family, I'm sure it was challenging for my Mom to get dinner on the table. We ate together every night and talked about our day at the table.

No matter how rushed life may have seemed to Mom, parenting had changed a lot by the time I became a parent.

More activities were available for kids by the '80s and '90s when I was raising my kids.

From sports and dance to church and community groups, the evenings were filled with activities.

There were also more activities available for families to enjoy together.

As the kids grew older, they were involved in a variety of activities where they made new friends and learned new skills.

Summer offered a break in the action each year, since team sports were done for the year and none of the kids were involved in competitive swimming.

Since we lived far away from my parents and siblings, summer also meant taking a road trip.

Often, summer vacations had to be squeezed in between the various organized activities.

Baseball, soccer, dance and band scheduled were pulled together to figure out when vacation could be taken.

Like most parents, I tried to avoid schedule conflicts that kept the kids from participating in their activities.

When we visited my family, we often spent a lot of time attending my nieces' and nephews' baseball and softball games, sports played in the summer in the Midwest.

My dad once asked why kids played team sports at such young ages.

Part of the reason is to learn skills at a younger age, but another part is for the competitive edge as they get older.

My son and two stepkids were involved in many more activities than my two daughters. Countless hours were spent by me and my husband on fields and in bleachers across the area.

My son ran cross country, played baseball, soccer, basketball, volleyball, football, was in band and competed in ROTC.

My stepson played baseball, basketball, a little soccer and was in band.

My stepdaughter was involved in theater productions, played soccer and basketball, sang in chorus and was in color guard.

As I watch my younger siblings parenting, the number of activities is sometimes staggering.

Like their older cousins, my young nieces and nephews are involved in sports, music, scouts and more.

My younger brothers and sisters coach hockey and soccer, run kids to dance and sports and are scout leaders.

Summer visits nearly always feature kids' organized activities and our extended family is always there for support.

Regardless of all of the activities, there's always time to spend together as a family.

Dinner may be served really late in the day or lunch may be eaten on the run, but family time remains a big part of our family's life.

Although some aspects of parenting have changed over the years, the love of parent for child remains constant.

Until the next memory is made, I'll take what I can get when I can get it and do the best I can to face each day with a smile on my face, a prayer on my lips and a song in my heart.

Blogging Grandma Sandy, signing off for now.

No comments:

Post a Comment