Over-Scheduling Kids: Here's Why Free Time Doesn't Mean "Boring!" by Holly Budde
When my kids were younger, I worked hard not to over-schedule their time. This included time away from home for any reason. If I was working and they were at daycare or Grandma's house, I made sure we weren't on the run all weekend.
Now the girls are much older, but I still hold this as a core parenting value. I schedule downtime for all of us. A time to just be without watching a clock. During this time I don't make them do their chores, either. It's play time! I believe it provides time for them to recharge and to use their imaginations. It allows me time to do the same.
The oldest may go see a friend or have one come over. The youngest is generally outside playing. Sometimes they watch a movie or go to the theater. I may decorate a room or start a project. Some days, they do artwork or read. We may even go on an adventure!
"Bored" is good for them. It encourages kids to satisfy their need to do something on their own, and creates resilience. Since I have always done this, they are accustomed to finding something to do. It has been, and continues to be, great quality time for us. The older they get, the harder it is, so it really makes me appreciate us being together without a schedule.