Slowing Down Childhood

I’m giving a talk to young moms soon called “Slowing Down Childhood.” As I was researching info for the talk, I came across these stats:

In the past twenty years, children’s free time has declined by twelve hours a week, time spent on structured sports activities has doubled, family dinners are down by a third, and the number of families taking vacations together has decreased by 28 percent.

Are today’s kids growing up without time to be kids?

How does your child’s childhood compared to yours…structure-wise?

Are you able to the brakes on your family’s frenzied schedule? What’s your best tip?

I’m interested in your thoughts and suggestions–it really helps me know what direction to take as I work on the content for this talk.

Send me your tips via comments or e-mails (suzanne at suzannewoodsfisher dot com) and I’ll add your name to the hat for a drawing. I’ve just received another box of Amish cookbooks from my Amish friends and I’m eager to share one or two with my bleaders! (Blog + Readers = Bleaders) Plus, my closet is getting full with books again and I need to make room to hide Christmas gifts!

The winner will be announced on Monday’s blog.

Thanks, in advance, for being my Bleader! Hope your week is off to a good start.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Michelle V says:

    My oldest was one of those kids anxious to grow up from the time he turned 9. The younger one who will be 14 in a few days is in no hurry to grow up and I'm in no hurry to rush him! I have let him be a kid (much to his older brother's annoyance who thinks he needs to grow up more). He just started 8th grade and they had a meeting the other night to talk about prepping the kids for college. ??? We passed! Some kids are looking towards college at this age, but mine is still content to be a kid and I'm letting him! They do some school sports but I refuse to do a full schedule of activities! We need some nights to just be at home together!


  2. Suzanne says:

    Great perspective, Michelle! I'm proud of you. It's hard to hold steady against a pressing, hurry-up culture.

  3. Erin says:

    A book I read last year that talks a lot about this and is FULL of fascinating (and sobering) statistics is "Last Child in the Woods." I highly recommend it.

  4. Mocha with Linda says:

    As long as I can be a "bleader" and not a "bleeder" like you first typed it! LOL

    First of all, the homework load is ridiculous. Kids are in school all day and get waaaay too much homework at night. And yeah, even in high school, they keep saying "we're trying to get them prepared for college." Well, in college I didn't go to school 7+ hours/day 5 days/week! All they have done is taken my bright child who loved to learn and made him hate school. I can't tell you how many days there has been solid homework from the time they got home until bedtime. One semester my son didn't even make it to Youth Bible Study but twice.

    You've hit a hot topic for me! LOL

    And we have avoided sports for much of the same reason. We did gymnastics for a bit, but it quickly got to the point where it was either give your every waking moment (and every dime) to be on team or forget it. What happened to playing a sport once a week and going home? Now they want kids to be pros at 9!

    Backing away from the soapbox now…

    My best tip: Just Say No. We don't sign up for everything, and we have dinner as a family virtually every night.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Erin–you're the second person who suggested that book! I will definitely get it. And sharp-eyed Linda…I fixed that darn typo! 🙂
    Thanks for your insights, ladies.