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-   -   Lazy parents make happy families (https://www.englishforum.ch/family-matters-health/123241-lazy-parents-make-happy-families.html)

CH_Me 24.08.2011 09:31

Lazy parents make happy families
 
We were always nagging each other to get out of the house earlier and make the most of our day with the kids. Our son still wanted to play but we would tell him to get dressed and go somewhere.

The last year has seen me being very lazy. No scheduled activities at all. No swimming, turnen or skiing classes that we needed to get to on time and I have found our lives have been so much less stressful and happier.

Instead of trying to get out and organising something, we go out alone with the kids, give them our undivided attention, play with them and enjoy our precious time with them.

I was listening to my colleague just yesterday arranging tennis, swimming, ballet, horse riding and ice skating lessons for her kids and I was thinking that I should be doing this too.

I came accross this article this morning: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life...824-1j94e.html

How scheduled is your life? I didn't put my son into local kindergarten (first year) so we would have some flexibility on attendance. I didn't want him going there 5 mornings a week. We do try to teach things through play, like times tables, how things work and at the moment all about vege gardens. A lazy afternoon in the garden keeps my kids happier than a long day out.

J_T 24.08.2011 09:44

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
Congratulations Marie, true wisdom. Anything forced, not having arisen from authentic need or desire from within, sooner or later is going to backfire, directly or indirectly.

ecb 24.08.2011 09:45

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
What a lovely post. Made me think. Thank you.

But your title is misleading, as I would guess you are not a lazy parent at all, just rather you choose to fill in your children's time differently to others.

Guest 24.08.2011 09:54

Not lazy at all. Gives you and your kids time to think, daydream, reflect, and invent.

Swissoconnors 24.08.2011 09:57

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
It probably depends somewhat on circumstances - the child, the house, the local environment,...
Our son wants a lot of attention and loves to be around people so for him nursery twice a week and now kindergarten is super - he gets to play with lots of people (and I get to actually do the housework!). He gets bored very fast if we're having a day in and not seeing anyone. But our daughter is very contented playing on her own or just with me and/or him. I'm only sending her to nursery so she can learn Swiss-German, otherwise I'd keep her home longer -in fact I've already kept her home longer than I did him.

I also reckon it helps if you are fortunate enough to have an actual garden with trees and grass where you can just be at home and potter about, or send the kids out by themselves like the author does. We have a south-facing balcony, so most of it is in the full sun most of the day and gets terribly hot. The local playground has no shade from 10.30 a.m. so not an option for afternoon excursions in 35C heat. (Lovely on a sunny winter's day though). And without a garden you can't send your two-year old out unaccompanied even in a lovely quiet area like ours. Not complaining, just saying it helps to have the right environment where you can be "lazy" - by the way I don't think looking after your child all day is being lazy, rather the opposite. Can't believe he called his book the Idle Parent, as if being with your children 24-7 was some sort of relaxing cop-out?! I always thought I was lazy for wanting the children to go and play with other kids so I can have some alone time! :D

Having said that, nursery for one child, kindergarten for the other and church are our only scheduled activities at the moment - we might add swimming together once everyone has settled back in. And I agree that a long day out can be very tiring for everyone! :)

Rangatiranui 24.08.2011 09:58

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
I wouldnt say that a "lazy" parent is one that lets children play independantly- it is one of the bases of the Maria Montessori teachings.

Here are a few of her quotes, one of my favourite being:

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

A person needs to be able to learn to entertain themselves - this is difficult to do when being driven from A to B to F every day.

But of course, talking to another mother yesterday, she wants her child "to have everything I never did..."

We all do the best we can.

musings 24.08.2011 10:03

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
Well said Marie!

The most important gift you can give your child is the gift of yourself.

If more parents could spend more quality time with their children there would definitely be fewer problems in this world. It's definitely the hardest job in the world.
;)

Guest 24.08.2011 10:05

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rangatiranui (Post 1312694)
But of course, talking to another mother yesterday, she wants her child "to have everything I never did..."

We all do the best we can.

Funny, for me that would be a relaxed parent who lets me fail and does not scare the sh1t out of me telling me bad thing will happen to me if I do this or that...sorry I am in a funny mood today :)

summerrain 24.08.2011 10:10

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ecb (Post 1312677)
What a lovely post. Made me think. Thank you.

But your title is misleading, as I would guess you are not a lazy parent at all, just rather you choose to fill in your children's time differently to others.

Well said ecb. Lazy isnt the word - i think "relaxed" is more accurate. I dont have kids but my parents are extremely laid back when it comes to extra cirricular activities. I spent lots of quality time with them visiting aquariums, zoos, the public library and travelling when I was younger. I was never pushed into swimming/ballet/piano lessons. In fact, I asked for music lessons on my own accord. In my eyes, they encouraged alot of my interests rather than pushed.

Coming from such a laidback background, trust me - your kids will thank you in the future for giving them the space to breathe and enjoy being kids.

Textoch 24.08.2011 10:12

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
Brava, MarieZug, for just saying, "No" and enjoying life at home with your family! Children get so much out of the simplest things, like playing board games with their family, swinging on swings in the park, or coming up with ways to play with sticks, action figures, modeling clay and bubbles at the same time! Unfortunately, some don't receive the opportunity to do many activities like that due to their filled schedules. Your children will cherish these memories! :)

PaddyG 24.08.2011 10:24

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
I have to say, we don't force our kids to do any extra-curricular activity if they don't want to. They both sing in a local children's choir and the youngest dances hip-hop, but they are both passionate about these. They took music lessons for a couple of years each, but discontinued after they lost interest and we weren't going to force them to continue if they weren't motivated.
I could never see the point in making your kids do this, that and the other, just to satisfy your own parental needs.

Anthony1406 24.08.2011 10:56

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
I was always made to do things...like golf for example . 3 times a week for several hours. couldnt go to bday parties etc etc. hated it at the time. now I love it cause Im good at golf :msngrin:.
Same with horseback riding, skilessons (started when 3 years old) and boxing.


So to be honest. I WILL make my kids one day do these things and then when they are old enough they can choose themselves if they want to continue or not. I really thank my parents for doing what they did cause i taught me to be sociable, extrovert, athletic (not any more :msnblush:) new experiences etc etc) and I am NOT saying that it is not possible the other way around so well I guess we can agree to disagree

Chemmie 24.08.2011 10:57

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
I agree....my parents forced me into many extra-curricular activities and extra schooling on the weekends. Made for an extremely unhappy childhood---still have nightmares.

Tom1234 24.08.2011 11:07

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
I always thought the lazy parents were the ones who never played with their kids and instead dropped them off at all these extra-curricular activities. :rolleyes:

The ones who aren't lazy actually do things with their children themselves even if the activities don't sound so exotic as riding lessons when the boasting occurs at the yummy-mummy coffee-mornings or the tennis club in the afternoon.

Anthony1406 24.08.2011 11:23

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom1234 (Post 1312811)
I always thought the lazy parents were the ones who never played with their kids and instead dropped them off at all these extra-curricular activities. :rolleyes:

The ones who aren't lazy actually do things with their children themselves even if the activities don't sound so exotic as riding lessons when the boasting occurs at the yummy-mummy coffee-mornings or the tennis club in the afternoon.


well with many families where both work.....its like "free"daycare :msntongue: btw all the sports and activities I had to do as a kid my dad or mom would always be there(as they also did the sport...)

24.08.2011 11:52

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
What a nice thread. Since little one is here I'm very lazy. But this was not planned as a concept. It's rather the case that little one has completely taken over the schedule. And I like the laid back life style. I used to work for about over 12 hours with little breaks in between (office).

Now I'm still busy (normal day from 05.00-21.00 (when little one is sound asleep), but it's definitely a different approach and I like it.

It helped me to get creative again and plan my life with a broader focus and attitude.

J_T 24.08.2011 11:58

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
When I lived in Geneva, out walking the dog, I'd see a neighbor's teenage son moping around in the park. He started tagging along and talked to me. Said his Proctor & Gamble parents were so caught up with their social life, they never had time for him, happy to get him out of the way, shipping him off to an Internat he hated, sent here, sent there for this or that activity he had no interest in.

A few years later I was in NYC and came across the same kid on the street bordering a park. He was so happy to see me, he dropped a huge plastic bag full of empty soft drink cans and ran over and hugged me. We sat on a bench and talked for a couple of hours. He had run away from the Internat, and his parents, and gotten himself to New York on his own. He lived on the street, got by primarily by collecting cans and sometimes got meals from a homeless shelter. Said he was free and happy, had friends he liked and trusted for the first time in his life. I went with him to the shelter and met his friends too, all homeless, each with an incredible life story, from busted bankers, engineers, divorcees, you name it... druggies too.... he was also a druggie.

I asked him every imaginable question, made every suggestion or offer I could think of, nope. "This is my free life" he said, "I created it, and if any thing changes it, it will be because something changed in me."

That was it...

24.08.2011 12:18

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
That's really sad. I refuse to see the positive side of the story.

Sure kiddo got what he wanted. At a very high price.

What a failure from the parents and the kid, who did not manage to carve something out of his life.

Even if you have sort of blind and unthoughtful parents, what keeps you from getting what you really want? Or making real friends, or contacting other relatives etc.?

No one is really, really alone and all by him/herself.





Quote:

Originally Posted by J_T (Post 1312891)
When I lived in Geneva, out walking the dog, I'd see a neighbor's teenage son moping around in the park. He started tagging along and talked to me. Said his Proctor & Gamble parents were so caught up with their social life, they never had time for him, happy to get him out of the way, shipping him off to an Internat he hated, sent here, sent there for this or that activity he had no interest in.

A few years later I was in NYC and came across the same kid on the street bordering a park. He was so happy to see me, he dropped a huge plastic bag full of empty soft drink cans and ran over and hugged me. We sat on a bench and talked for a couple of hours. He had run away from the Internat, and his parents, and gotten himself to New York on his own. He lived on the street, got by primarily by collecting cans and sometimes got meals from a homeless shelter. Said he was free and happy, had friends he liked and trusted for the first time in his life. I went with him to the shelter and met his friends too, all homeless, each with an incredible life story, from busted bankers, engineers, divorcees, you name it... druggies too.... he was also a druggie.

I asked him every imaginable question, made every suggestion or offer I could think of, nope. "This is my free life" he said, "I created it, and if any thing changes it, it will be because something changed in me."

That was it...


J_T 24.08.2011 12:27

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by armandair (Post 1312927)
Sure kiddo got what he wanted. At a very high price.

...no, parents got what they wanted, got rid of the kid, could play the victim card, probably made some donation to a charity to assuage their consciences.

I'm not going to write a book, there is much more to it, but believe me, the kid made out of his life what he could, given what he had to work with. He is very intelligent, even gifted, so who knows where he has gone from there, but said he had to complete his round with drugs first....

Anthony1406 24.08.2011 12:28

Re: Lazy parents make happy families
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by J_T (Post 1312891)
When I lived in Geneva, out walking the dog, I'd see a neighbor's teenage son moping around in the park. He started tagging along and talked to me. Said his Proctor & Gamble parents were so caught up with their social life, they never had time for him, happy to get him out of the way, shipping him off to an Internat he hated, sent here, sent there for this or that activity he had no interest in.

A few years later I was in NYC and came across the same kid on the street bordering a park. He was so happy to see me, he dropped a huge plastic bag full of empty soft drink cans and ran over and hugged me. We sat on a bench and talked for a couple of hours. He had run away from the Internat, and his parents, and gotten himself to New York on his own. He lived on the street, got by primarily by collecting cans and sometimes got meals from a homeless shelter. Said he was free and happy, had friends he liked and trusted for the first time in his life. I went with him to the shelter and met his friends too, all homeless, each with an incredible life story, from busted bankers, engineers, divorcees, you name it... druggies too.... he was also a druggie.

I asked him every imaginable question, made every suggestion or offer I could think of, nope. "This is my free life" he said, "I created it, and if any thing changes it, it will be because something changed in me."

That was it...


have you seen the show "intervention" ? it is full of those kinda stories. Their happiness is unfortunately only fueled by the drugs and will eventually kill them. so I find your story more sad than uplifting to be honest


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