Working and Playing Balance

One morning when my kids were home from school for summer vacation I found them in front of the TV eating

popcorn and Starburst candy, tossing wrappers on the floor and lazily kicking back. Like the nun in the children's cartoon, Madeline, I raised my finger and said, "Something is not right!"

Though we all like to sleep in, lay around, watch TV, and enjoy life without a schedule, sometimes too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Following that first day of summer vacation, I often found myself swapping stories with friends about the need to maintain a healthy, daily structure with the kids, and still have fun—something we adults need to learn to do as well.

Here are some ideas. Work together. Children build self-confidence when they work. Make work fun. My sister puts on fun, loud music and her girls work with smiles on their faces, dancing and singing. Other mom's set timers and have a race, a winner, and a prize. A dear friend pays her children so well for their jobs that I'd like to work for her! Consequently, her kids have learned a lot about financial management (earning, spending, and saving) because they have lots of money to manage. Her kids love to work because they love the freedom of having their own money to spend.

I have a child who really drags his feet, not wanting to chip in at all—not uncommon! With the right motivation, I've been able to get this kid up and moving. When the right carrot is hung in front of us, we all tend to do whatever we need to do to get it. Finding the right reward can motivate any child to work.

Learning to work is essential for our children's long-term growth and development. Working teaches them responsibility, gives them a greater sense of purpose and value, and helps them feel happy. If kids are working and that's not happening, again, "Something is not right."

Giving too much responsibility to children will backfire. When children are given too much to do too fast, they begin to feel overwhelmed, like they're failing, and then they tend to collapse. Too much work and no play makes Jack and Jane dull, depressed kids.

Maintaining a balance between work and play is important—not only for our children but for us. This is something I've struggled to learn as an adult. I'm an oldest child who grew up working hard. While I've gained great gifts from knowing how to work, I've had to remind myself how to play, and doing so is just as important to my growth and development.

Tangerine essential oil is perfect for those who feel burdened by responsibilities that aren’t theirs. From the citrus family, tangerine frees us to let go and be happy, to find the joy in life and escape debilitating pressures for a period. It also helps to replenish our creative juices. Tangerine is a natural mood uplifter.

For this week's personal development, evaluate where you stand on the continuum between work and play. Are you balanced? Do you need to work more, or play more? And if you have children, ask yourself, am I teaching my children how to work and play in balance?

Have a fun week!
Rebecca Hintze

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