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Why I Give My Kids Downtime — or How I'll Never Be a Tiger Mom



OK, if you are a parent, you have probably caught wind of the controversy surrounding "the Tiger Mom". . .

My parenting approach can only be described as the Anti-Tiger mom.. . .I don't push or force my kids to do activities.. . .It is their choice —and I fully support those choices. I honestly believe that kids need time to just be kids — to hang out and watch some TV, play (or argue) with their siblings and their stuff, think, daydream, and goof off.

Ryan plays baseball in the spring.. . .He is taking trombone in 4th grade band.. . .That's it.  He enjoys them — never argues about participating in them — never complains about participating in them.

Owen is 4, and gets exposure to music and art in preschool. . .he is not going to any extra activities right now.

I don't know if it's coincidence that I've seen so much on over-extending and pushing your child since I saw the documentary Race to Nowhere or there's just a greater concern with it all of a sudden.

"Success" is measured in many different ways — is a well-paid surgeon successful if he/she can't formulate a happy healthy relationship and have a family if that's part of what they always wanted?  Is the dad who's a sales associate, trying to support his family, successful if he isn't well-paid but is happy and has everything he always wanted?

I want my kids to be happy — however that happiness looks. I want them to be proud of their lives, know that they are loved beyond measure and be happy with what they have, who they are and where they are. Don't get me wrong — I am NOT judging you or your family — or any Tiger Moms out there. . .just sharing how we roll.

How about you - is your family schedule jam-packed? Is it by choice or obligation?

Hillary Chybinski is a crafty mom of 2 boys living the American Dream with her husband in the Philly burbs.  This post was adapted from her blog, My Scraps.

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