Why Unstructured Time Matters for Tweens

by | Aug 24, 2016 | Parenting/Family, Sponsored, Video | 1 comment

Why DOES unstructured time matters for tweens?

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*This is post was created in partnership with Ask. Listen. Learn. All opinion is my own.

There is a school of thought that says a busy kid is a kid that stays out of trouble.

While I do agree with that, I also believe there is a balance.

Take for example, my daughter.

A tween.

She’s on the edge of young lady, but very much a kid.

Why Unstructured Time Matters for Tweens
There are three outstanding reasons why I feel it is important to make unstructured time a priority for tweens…

You’re only a kid once.

Kids will have their ENTIRE lifetime to be filled with schedules and responsibilities. They wish their childhood away enough on their own. As parents, we get to help them preserve these days that they will never get back. If I wish for any one thing it is to be a kid again. LET KIDS BE KIDS.

Why Unstructured Time Matters for Tweens via @jennyonthespot

 Creative problem solving and growth.

I am not a child psychologist, so I have no scientific data to back this up. But I do have in-the-field data of my own.

A bored child must create their own fun… and by that I mean solve their own problems.

If a child never or rarely has to solve the problem of what to do, then a child misses out on a huge opportunity to develop problem solving skills.

It creates a chance to talk and listen.

It’s hard to talk to a kid while they are listening to the soccer coach, or a dance instructor. I have learned that when there is down time, there is time for your tween to open up. There is time to get to know each other. Unstructured time opens the door not only for needed down time, but also for conversation. In these moments parents can weave in discussion about life… from fun stories about our own childhood to the hard stuff like drinking and drugs.

Why Unstructured Time Matters for Tweens via @jennyonthespot
I know providing data is a big thing these days, but a mother’s intuition is a thing too. MY mama’s spidey sense tells me kids need unstructured time. They need it to get to know their family. To get to know their community. To get to know THEMSELVES. If they are so busy doing doing doing, how will they ever get a chance to truly learn about themselves?

I’m not even a tween and I know I need unstructured time. How much more for a young person who is at the crest of adulthood?

According to as Ask. Listen. Learn… studies show that parents wield the greatest influence on their kid’s decision to drink. It’s important to talk early and often. Unstructured time is a key tool in creating time for those important conversations.

What are YOUR thoughts? Do you believe unstructured time is important? Why or why not?

Hi, I'm Jenny :)

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