Two Career Families and the Death of Unstructured Time

Travis Smith points to this AP article on the death of the family in the two-income world. [here]
Samantha and I have discussions about this topic on a regular basis. We are a one-income family by choice and by restriction (Visa restrictions prevent Samantha from working in the US). However, the concept of scheduling our children’s lives to the point where we are using other people to raise and rear them is broken and failed in my mind.
I am not anti-activity. I believe that a child who is to be properly socialized in today’s world needs to interact with and engage in some structured activities with other children/people.
However, as much as they drive me/us nuts, Samantha and I are the main caregivers to our children. I work 7AM – 4PM every day to ensure that I am home for supper, bathtime, stories and tuck-in.
On weekends, the boys and I try and do at least one activity together. As a family, we do one big outing every weekend. The boys are free to do what they want, when they want, with parental consent. They play. they build. They draw. Cameron is better with a hammer than I am, and I caught him using the cordless drill one day (he’s six), complete with eye-protection, and I did not object because he knows how to use it!
My boys are extremely imaginative. Kinnear tells incredibly inventive stories, and loves to give visitors a tour of the house, describing each room in detail (he’s 3.5).
So, will my kids be the MBAs of the future? Will they lead corporations and make decisions that change the course of history?
Probably not.
But my children will be able to think, adapt, and dream. And to me, the ability to do these things beats the structured, scheduled, contolled thing called “existence” that is described in the article. It is not a life; it is an existence.
Give your kids a life.

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