If I had all the money in the world, my kids might spend their days at karate and drama, gymnastics and guitar lessons, swim instruction and art class. I don’t, alas, have all the money in the world, so my kids get one class each: Declan does gymnastics and Ronan starts soccer tomorrow. The rest of their days are therefore spent with me, not with class instructors. Which, unbeknownst to me, is all the rage in parenting these days.
Some people call it the slow parenting movement. Others call it a fact of life in a recession. Whatever you call it, the economic downturn is forcing parents to make cuts everywhere, including in their kids’ hectic schedules. So instead of shuttling their kids from activity to activity, parents are forced to find other ways to entertain their kids. In short, parents and kids are spending a lot more time together.
Dana Slomkowski, a New Jersey mother, has had to cut her kids’ activities and seems to enjoy the results. “We have more time, we talk,” she says. “Now I’m big on, ‘go outside and play.’”
The economic crunch is accelerating the slow parenting trend, says Mary Hickey, deputy editor of Parents magazine. “Instead of enrolling their 2-year-old in the best preschool,” she says, “they’re thinking, why not keep them at home a little longer?”
How has your family adapted to changing economic times?
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