Last spring our family schedule was chock full of practices, rehearsals, lessons, concerts, church and school. One afternoon as one of my sons and I were trying to juggle his packed schedule (and disagreeing about whether dance or play practice took precedence) things started to get a little heated. I was concerned that he needed to keep the dance class commitment as his number one priority, and he was excited to attend the first rehearsal for his first play where he had landed a great part. We were both frustrated and we both felt pulled in too many directions. Shortly afterwards we determined that we needed to make some changes.
It took a fair amount of discussion, some compromise and even some difficult choices, but ultimately our son cut back on the activities he was involved in. While initially he missed his time at dance and even questioned the choice in the beginning, he has come to realize that it was a good decision. As the spring musical kicked into high gear this week he came to us and said that he was glad he didn’t feel pulled in so many directions this year and saw the reason for choosing “the best” instead of just “the good” activities. It reinforced to us that sometimes there can really be too much of a good thing.
There are so many good choices for activities to participate in! It can be really easy to fill our children’s schedules to the point of overflowing. Pair that with the desire for our kids to have worthwhile opportunities and it can be difficult to determine what is too much. As we were sorting out how we could do things differently I was reminded of a phrase that I had heard years ago which was “good, better, best.” While there are lots of good things and even better things, we should sift through all the options to just choose the best things.
This post, “Seven Questions for Clarifying Our Top Priorities” offers some great suggestions for deciding what’s most important.