“No” to plans is my summer mantra. And my kids aren’t complaining one bit. In fact, they seem relieved that we’ve pulled back on the acceleration of our day to day living.
It turns out that this summer lifestyle I’m happily forcing upon my family has major benefits. According to Harvard Health, unplanned time is actually a way to build up pivotal learned skills in our children, “skills,” says Dr. Claire McCarthy (who is a Harvard Associate Professor of Pediatrics) “that make all the difference in life.”
Yes, you read that correctly. Unplanned time can help make our children more successful as adults.
What is unplanned, free time? According to the article it is time when kids get out the art supplies and just make. Or go into the kitchen and bake. It’s time spent hiking and playing outdoors. Time where children can use their imaginations and build with legos and blocks. Time to swim in the pool. Time for boredom to occur so children they can figure out how to amuse themselves. McCarthy posits that unscheduled time helps children build important skills they will use later in life.
It’s time where parents, coaches, or any other adults get a bit out of the way and let our kids play.
I like the sound of that.
Unplanned time sounds like pure perfection this summer. Boredom is not bad; it’s actually the groundwork for the miraculous.
It’s kinda like this Harvard professor just answered my Mayday! call with the best answer possible. I now have Ivy league advisement which proves I’m making the best possible choice this summer…I’m letting my kids be kids.
And in turn, I’m regaining my mama sanity.
If you need me I’ll be knee deep in art supplies and meandering through the day with my kiddos this summer.
No is the best type of yes for us this summer.
***This piece originally appeared at allamericanmom.net, published with permission.