Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall…Time for sports

Over scheduled.  Have you heard this term?  It is tough to slow yourself down, but I really hope all of us parents can do just that.  There are so many opportunities for kids nowadays. Introducing them to activities is one thing, but over scheduling is a whole different beast.  We didn't have that many options back when I was young, and to me, that was a positive.  Your kids don't have to be involved in everything, nor should they be.

I see it all the time: Moms rushing to get their kids out of their ballet outfits, into their soccer uniforms and to the game on time.  It is crazy to think of how much you can pack into a 6-year-old's day. It makes me tired just thinking about it. Ballet to soccer, I can actually understand that one.  But when it comes to activities and sports, it is important to choose.

This year, I am asking my kids to choose between a few different things. My son is 3 and my daughter is 5.  They want to do a bit of everything from this list: soccer, t-ball, dance, karate, skiing, ice skating, swimming and gymnastics.  All of these activities cost money, some being much more costly than others.  As parents, we chose skiing as one of their winter activities. (It helps that we all love it and we live in Utah.) And we narrowed the others down to either karate or gymnastics for our son, and dance or gymnastics for our daughter.  It surprised me that when we asked them, they didn't complain or hesitate. 

The luxury of this age is that programs don't last longer than a few months, so it's easy to fit in a lot of sports and give your kids options. Outside of a few exceptions, most sports don't require specialization until their teens, so feel free to let your kids explore what they like.  Just be sure to watch your child, and make sure they're not exhausting themselves trying to keep it all up.

And…if during the year, you kid comes up to you and begs to try something different or change their decision, listen and allow it. Trust me…if a kid asks you over and over to do a sport, it’s important to them and they have a passion for it. Both my husband and I were that way with our Olympic disciplines. You never know….

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