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Dear Ms. Tessie,
My daughter is getting to an age that she is starting to ask about extracurricular activities. Some of her friends talk about practices they go to after school, or activities they are a part of, and she’s curious… but when I was a kid my parents put us in too many things, and I don’t want her to be overwhelmed.
Do we just pick and choose activities and hope she sticks with one? What about the things I want to teach her myself? I think I’m already overwhelmed!
I have to agree with you on one thing… It is easy to let yourself get overwhelmed by activities. Something about American culture has convinced all of us that we should try to do too much in a small amount of time.
In some ways the height of the pandemic and shutdown was a blessing to show many of us that it was OK to slow down just a little bit and enjoy our homes and families in them.
With that in mind, ease into activities with your child. Talk with her about what she likes, or what she’s interested in. Why enroll a child in baseball if they aren’t at all interested? It’s true it helps to make a child well rounded if you introduce them to a variety of activities, but it’s also true that you can burn a child out by the time they are teenagers if you get them into too much.
Start small. Pick one of the available activities and see how it goes. If she enjoys it, keep going. If she decides she’d like to add another activity, see what fits the schedule and add one thing at a time. Try to have her stick with an activity for a while before you allow her to say she doesn’t like it, though.
You can’t force a child to enjoy something they truly dislike, but you can make them stick to it long enough to say they really gave it a try.
I think I want to ask my girlfriend to marry me. Like I went and bought a ring already. But I’m super nervous and afraid she’ll say no, or that this is a bad idea. How do you know when it’s really right to ask?
If you gathered up the courage to buy the ring, you’re already a step in the right direction! I’m a bit of an old-fashioned gal, and I think you’d better ask her parents about it, too. I may also be old-fashioned in this sense, but I don’t think marriage should be taken lightly, either. You’re right to ponder it before you jump in with both feet.
The right time is different for everyone. Some folks find within a few months with a person that they’ve found “the one”, and for some it takes time to settle in with someone before they’re able to come to the same conclusion. I don’t believe there’s any specific number of years you should have been together, but I do believe you need to have taken time to get to know each other before you commit to spending the rest of your lives together.
As for what she’ll say… well, I suppose there’s not much I can offer there. If you’re confident in your relationship, it’s at least worth asking! Good luck, dear!