Balance. It’s a word we aspire to all the time, isn’t it?

I mean where do you draw the line between organising enough activities for your child and allowing them down time. Especially time to have fun and do silly things like dragging their siblings along the carpet on a duvet?

This is what our children were doing today. But another day, they would be doing a structured activity.

I think it’s important to let my kids be kids and find their own way. Furthermore, unstructured play is healthy for them and can promote creativity. What’s more, they can learn from their own mistakes as they grow up, right?

But equally, giving them my time is probably the most important thing I can do.

But what if a parent spends that time hovering over their child, nudging them at every opportunity? Or micromanaging their time and setting unrealistic goals? As a result, it could restrict their freedom and suffocate them. It might become what Julie Lythcott-Haims in her TED talk called a “checklisted childhood”.

I want to allow my children the freedom to explore what switches them on. I don’t want to suffocate them and switch them off with over-parenting.

There again, my wife and I happen to really enjoy music and art. We can’t help ourselves by wanting our own children to love it too! It’s hard to find the right balance.

As long as our children feel listened to and loved along the way, isn’t that enough?

What do you think?

Here are some questions to ponder – please comment below:

Q1. If a child shows enthusiasm for something, should a parent pounce on it and do everything they can to support that enthusiasm or just let things happen slowly?

Q2/3. How much do parents talk to others about their perceived success of their children and how important is it for parents to not compare how their children are doing? (Inspired from Julie Lythcott-Haims’s TED talk.)

Q4. In a world where some parents often live their children’s lives for them, how can we make childhood more about children? (Taken from the book, Under Pressure, by Carl Honoré)