Question to answer: What can a family do to reduce the negative effects of busyness?

What is your busyness costing your family?

This is not about fathers or mothers who work too much in their careers. This is about figuring out whether your family is too busy with activities for the children. There’s busy—and then there is too busy. How do we tell the difference? When do we know we have our kids involved in too much?

One sign is the usual temperature of their mood. Are they cranky, moody, or just short with everyone? It could also show up in slipping grades. Or, the child may be tired more than usual.

Jen Wilkin, a Christian author, recently said in an interview (found here: www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-busy-christian-family) that her children’s high school counselor told parents that the number one reason they see kids in their offices is for exhaustion from over-involvement. They are anxious and depressed.

Obviously, we don’t want this for our children. But what is a family to do? How are we to think about trying to ensure that our children grow up with life-shaping, well-rounding experiences? Sports, music, and clubs all can teach our children many positive things. Don’t they need all the advanced placement and honors courses they can get into?

These aren’t bad in themselves.

But it may be helpful to ask other questions.

Who knows your children better—their parents or the band members or teammates? When trouble comes their way, are your children more likely to confide in you or in others? What are you doing to make the odds tilt strongly in your favor that your children feel more comfortable with you and your family than with outsiders?

We are to raise up our children and nurture them in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6). This implies that we cannot put the raising of our children in the hands of others.

We must do our best to shape our children into good citizens of this world and the next. This requires time, intimacy, and transparency. If your busyness prevents this, it may be time to reevaluate your priorities.