life Parenting

Kids / Activities / Growing Up

May 10, 2023

I remember . . .

. . . that there was a time when I saw other people that had kids heavily involved in sports and thought, “Not us! No way will I let my young kids’ sports schedules disrupt our family rhythms and take up precious weekend time!”

And then my kids got older, and I am eating my words/thoughts because C tried out and is now committed to travel soccer for the 2023-24 season. I think he’s on the “JV”/less intense team but it’s still going to be regular practices (2-3/week) + games (most weekends) from August to May. It’s totally going to make us less flexible and busier on nights and weekends.

AND also? He really likes it and it’s good for him.

Truthfully, I think there will still be plenty of free time and time for A/G to pursue the things they want to do, too. My biggest concern is actually that it will prevent him from getting to play other sports, such as lacrosse – which he’s currently doing in an intro ‘quick start’ program and enjoying. But he can always decide to pivot after this year.

So, here we are. I wonder what other parenting choices I will make that I never saw coming . . .

one more San Diego pic! From a morning run.

Travel sports / intense music lessons / etc –> thoughts? My overall feeling has shifted to feeling like if the kid is into it, I’m on board! I find it more challenging when kids are not into things, but that’s a whole different post!


  • Reply Ann Dorothy Bingham May 10, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    I am looking forward to hearing others’ ideas on this. Whew.. I think it is a hard choice, because having a child seriously involved in one activity affects the whole family. If I had it to do over again, I would not put the one daughter in serious ballet. It cost a ton of money, it is competitive and the overall emotional cost was higher than I realized at the same time, and it was so serious it lost the fun factor (although she was the one who begged for it). And, yet again, I am glad we supported another daughter who pursued music (harp performance) seriously. That was a ton of money too, took much of her time and family time, since there were long drives for lessons, conferences, etc. And yet emotionally it was very supportive for her, and led to her career. Such a conundrum.

  • Reply KGC May 10, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    The Holderness Family JUST did a video on this! (or at least I just saw it – I guess I’m not sure when it was released). I feel like you might enjoy =)

    My kid (7) went to travel tryouts for soccer last night, got hit by a ball during warmups, and then refused to go back onto the field (despite really loving soccer and being quite good at it, at least at rec level). Our conundrum is how much to push it!?? We’re fine with him not doing travel soccer (perhaps we’d even prefer for him NOT to!) but we’re both very frustrating by the fact that he just quit the tryouts and refused to finish despite not being injured. Parenting is hard!

    • Reply Amy May 10, 2023 at 10:37 pm

      He’s only 7. Definitely give it some time before you push it!

      • Reply Connie C May 11, 2023 at 10:11 am

        FWIW, I agree. There’s plenty of time left (written as a mom to three boys ages 26, 24 and 24 who played: travel hockey, lax, baseball, cross country, soccer amongst them all).

        • Reply Connie C May 11, 2023 at 10:12 am

          Oh, and band and drama club, youth group at church and Boy Scouts. lol

  • Reply Omdg May 10, 2023 at 3:08 pm

    I think it’s fine if the kid wants to do it. What I saw when Dyl was younger was parents pushing sports because they thought it was important and competing through their own children who weren’t permitted to say no. It was gross. I do still see shitty parents with the older kids, but it seems like at least now the kids are choosing more for themselves though obviously there are exceptions. I really dislike how absolutely critical to
    popularity being good at sports can be for young kids, and how there is literally no way to be cool at Dylan’s school if you are a boy that doesn’t play sports. The adults feed into it. It’s such a turnoff, but not surprising. I personally enjoy sports recreationally but kind of think doing them at the college level or above is dumb. Now I will prepare to get run out of town because around here that’s sacrilege. Thank god I have a girl.

  • Reply Kate Unger May 10, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    My 13 year-old is in select baseball, select soccer, and 7th grade track at school. He loves being involved with sports, and he’s the one pushing for it all. I love watching him do sports. It’s a little more time than I’d like, but until he’s not enjoying it, we’ll keep doing it. It’s fun enough for now.

  • Reply RKK May 10, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    This was a challenge I never saw coming, too. My kids are 11 and 9 and our life is guided by the 11yo’s hockey sched (3-4 practices a week + games on weekends, October – April.) I swore I would never do this but – he likes it, the team is competitive but not too competitive, it is good for his ADHD (activity + learning discipline + social norms + making a different friend group for when middle school friends go through rough patches.) My 9yo will want to be involved in something too by next year, and that plus tutoring plus the odd rec sport takes up all our time (despite consciously moving somewhere where they can walk to several of the activities, and capping activities at 2 each.) It’s just a different stage and age – and requires a lot more coordination and makes schedules a LOT tougher. who knew? But I wouldn’t change it. It is good for their growth and development and resilience, and it helps their confidence to have a friend group/ somethign they are good at ourside school.

  • Reply Wendy May 10, 2023 at 4:54 pm

    As a mom of three (9,6,15m) I am feeling really overwhelmed by the extracurricular schedule. My poor 3rd kid is dragged all over town to soccer/gymnastics/dance. This summer they will have swim practice daily as well as camps and gymnastics 😳. I limit them to two activities at a time, but I still feel like a glorified taxi service😂. I said “never” and yet here we are!

  • Reply Daria May 10, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    My kids are still small (5 and 3) and are involved in exactly zero activities. We plan on start dabbling with it maybe at 6 or 7. And I mean dabbling. When L was 3.5 we put her in “multi-sports” to try out different sports- a total waste of money and energy. She disliked it and it was like pulling teeth. R has swim lessons when he was a baby- up to 1 year old. Hated it, too. I know it’s too early to tell but maybe my kids are not athletes lol

    Another thing for me think about: what will happen to our family travel? Right now we take 2-3 trips a year, especially in the summer.

    Thanks for making me think about the future.

    • Reply Grateful Kae May 10, 2023 at 5:33 pm

      Oh, Daria…. do you want the truth?? hahaha…. sports can really screw up your travel plans. Because as easy it sounds to be like “Oh, I’ll just pull them out”, when they get older, it is NOT that easy! They work for months for the big “end of the season” meets or tournaments, and it’s not even fair to then make them miss things that matter to them that they’ve worked for. It would be like training for months for a race and then your husband decides to take you on a surprise trip over the weekend of your marathon. HA. Or like with high school sports, you almost can’t miss extended periods of time because who wants to be the only 16 year old that skipped 2 weeks of training when everyone else was there doing doubles over Christmas break? The winter sports seasons don’t really take holiday break. I’ve heard from other moms with HS kids that it’s so hard to skip because the high school sports seasons are short and intense and the kids are like “all in” during those few months. Depends on the sport, though and what season it falls in. Between it getting harder and harder to miss days of school + overlapping (upcoming) HS activities, I’m starting to think our travel window will be shrinking to almost nothing….. sob.

      • Reply Gillian May 11, 2023 at 5:05 am

        As the mother of a high schooler this is very true. My son plays soccer and the school season is in the fall. The start two weeks BEFORE school starts and if you miss that time they cannot be on the team. We had to rearrange a beach trip we had been taking for years to accommodate this. They play through October (November if they are good and go to playoffs) and it is daily practice a multiple games during that time. We deal withthat by traveling 1:1 with our younger kids during this time. He loves it so much that I just agreed to let him leave Mother’s Day brunch early to go to an extra travel game on Sunday. Something I would have been horrified by a few years ago. The one thing I will say is with SO MANY games I do NOT feel pressure to attend so many of them. I do what I can.

      • Reply Daria May 11, 2023 at 10:58 am

        Thank you for this hard truth! Again, this is the reality, but I have a few years with them before we will be there. I want to at least hit Morocco and Japan with them before that 😀 #agirlcandream

    • Reply Kat May 11, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      I’m totally nervous about this too Daria! And Kae and Gillian, your honest responses are super helpful thank you! My 8 yo daughter just committed to a competitive traveling cheer team and the policies on missing practices are VERY STRICT and she will be cut from the team (and we will have to pay a LOT of money) if she misses a single competition without a medical excuse. She goes to a year-round school so they have odd long breaks and this is when our family travels. So I’m nervous how it will all go down. But as others have said, this choice was 100% driven by my child so I’m happy to support her.

      My 15 yo nephew is on his HS crew team and that is a huge commitment too. He rarely can make it to family get togethers on weekends due to regattas and my brother/his wife rarely can both travel together anymore because they are accompanying him to various practices/regattas. But he is having the time of his life so I get it!
      Sigh…at least we’re all in this crazy time of life together (sort of, thank you internet!

  • Reply Grateful Kae May 10, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    We got into this world pretty early as A started competitive swim team/ meets at age 6, about to turn 7 (3-4 x/ week practice, frequent meets all over the place), and they both were on club soccer from very young, with 2-3x/ week practice + games/tournaments also all over the place. Most families we know have kids in these types of sports though, so it felt really normal for us, I guess. They genuinely like the activities though- if they didn’t, well, that would be a whole other story. I welcomed keeping them busy because they are active boys and would drive me nuts just sitting around at home anyway. College sports and beyond is not our end game at all- just happy to have them learning and competing and being teammates and working hard and becoming coachable etc.

    Guess what they’re NOT doing while swimming at a 4 hour long swim meet or playing in a weekend long soccer tournament??? Playing on screens!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😉

  • Reply Diana May 10, 2023 at 5:46 pm

    I agree that if the kids are on board I think it’s worthwhile. I played violin growing up and in college (although did not major). I voluntarily practiced hours a day because I LOVED it (and mastering a musical instrument is hard and takes a lot of work). I play in ensembles and am again taking private lessons as an adult because I love playing and practicing. I learned so many valuable life skills from diving deep into something I was passionate about. I’m so grateful my parents were able to support me in this. It’s hard to wrap my head around when parents push their kids into extracurriculars that are intense (like music or intense sports) if the kid is not into it. It’s just so much $$$, time and effort for the parent and the kid with little benefit if pestering is necessary to get them to practice/games,etc.

  • Reply coco May 10, 2023 at 6:06 pm

    my view is that it depends on the age. C/A are in the age that they know what they like after trying few other things, so it’s great that they are into something. Sofia loves swimming and she’s happy to be training 3 times a week for 1.5 hrs each. Obviously that limits other sports, so we try to complement with non group sports so it’s more flexible. When they are young, it’s good to expose them to different things for a certain period, then let them decide. that’s what I do and so far haven’t changed my mind. Obviously this comes from someone who really values physical activity. Music wise both girls are still doing piano, 40 min daily practice for the 10 years old, 20 min for the 7 years old. I have a feeling that eventually I’ll let them choose too if really they don’t love it. So far, it’s like they are okay but not as passionate.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns May 10, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    It’s too early in my stage of parenting to say what we will do. But we don’t have a nanny so it would be hard to shuttle them around to a lot of activities. They will have exposure to things through after school programs, but that’s less sports focused and more like drama, Spanish enrichment, etc. We will see what they are drawn to. I am NOT athletic and wasn’t growing up. I tried things but never stuck and I was more drawn to artistic pursuits like drama, speech, piano, etc. But I was limited in what I could pursue because my parents worked full time and had 5 kids. So we just did school based sports. There were no club sports or traveling sports since we lived in a rural area. My husband was athletic but didn’t do traveling sports. It was all school based plus little league, babe Ruth league, etc. I don’t know if traveling leagues were a thing back then.

    As I get closer to a heavier activity stage of life, I plan to read Family Firm to help us make our decisions about activities and such.

  • Reply Erin May 10, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    This is a tough call…. we’re honestly kind of lucky that we don’t have any all star athletes in our family 🙂 My 13 year old is big into theater, student council, and some other non-sport school clubs, my 11 year old is my one athlete (so far) and he’s been perfectly content with rec leagues that are all in our city (one at a time – baseball, flag football, basketball) – and… to be frank, he’s FINE, but he’s probably not going to be asked to try out for a travel league, which is AOK with me! He also does clarinet (through school) and piano (outside of school). My 7 year old is literally the most uncoordinated person I’ve seen, so we do have him in tae kwon do to try to help with that – we tried soccer last summer and it was a laughable disaster and he did not have any interest in proceeding! All that is SO MUCH already. I would really have a hard time agreeing to a travel team just knowing how much it would impact our family life, AND knowing that they have really great options through rec leagues and school (once they hit middle school). At least through 8th grade even if they are mediocre everyone gets to participate and I think by HS that problem will have sorted itself out 🙂 This is also the level of involvement (we’re on the high end, really) of everyone in my core friend group so it feels pretty standard to me. I know that definitely varies and if your friends are also putting their kids in the high-involvement sports, that could be more of a fun social option (I know this happens a ton with hockey families – they are all friends and the tournaments are actually their social scene).

    Anyway I do clearly have a lot of thoughts about this, but this is something that has come up (like Kae says above) with respect to family travel – it HUGELY impacts things even at a non-intense level – there now are certain times of year we’ll just avoid for family trips, and is a big part of the reason I decided to book a really big extended spring break next year (JAPAN!! huge deal with miles/points so that’s why we booked so early) because that is the one time I KNOW nothing major will be happening. It’s a tough call, and especially so when you feel like you wait until the kids are at a great age to travel……… and then comes sports/theater/band/etc.

  • Reply Katie May 10, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    My kids are 8 and 5 and are only in swim lessons. I like the idea of them playing on sports teams because of the social aspect, team building, etc. however, reading through all of these comments my reaction is mostly “how do families make this work?!” We both work full time and the kids are already in after school care until 5ish. Who is going to shuttle them to practices? When will they eat dinner? Would I ever have time to do things for myself on the weekends (plus the cleaning and the meal prep and the cooking)??

    • Reply Erin May 10, 2023 at 8:16 pm

      CARPOOLS! Also once middle school hits, a lot of activities are at school, and for our district at least, they can bus home. My 11 year old also bikes himself to baseball practices, and we only go to games. We both work full time and there are some weeks that are bonkers but it’s been totally fine.

      (And, they stay up later… we do quick dinners before or after activities…. it works out!!)

  • Reply Kate May 10, 2023 at 9:04 pm

    I remember thinking the same things about protecting weekends! This year my eldest is part of the weekend soccer team and scouts with some weekend adventures. I’ve resisted letting the youngest join the weekend footy team but I know it’s coming. One of my greatest challenges is the oldest is a shy kid and car pooling just doesn’t work.

  • Reply Irene May 10, 2023 at 9:18 pm

    I’m glad you are writing about this. It’s actually really hard. At the moment each child has an after school appointment that is not fun (speech for one and regular therapy for the other) and we essentially can’t do anything those days. My oldest has been happy to do a bunch of different things one day a week and one of those is at the school, right after dismissal (so amazing!) and it’s mostly worked out with some paid driving help. But my youngest is starting to get really interested in sports and he’s really competitive. He’s still quite young so he seems… not bad? But I can’t really tell. I have a feeling he will really want to move up levels as fast as he can. And he could use the social currency so it’s going to be hard to say no. Ahhh! I am still learning about carpooling and how that works when you are a stickler for boosters etc (our state has very prescriptive laws for things like that) and I find it kind of awkward. I’m assuming we will figure it out…

    • Reply Mary May 11, 2023 at 9:02 am

      You might try a mifold booster seat. It brings the seatbelt down rather than raise the kid up. I don’t use it as my day to day booster but love it for when kid will be going off in another car, when travelling by plane or if I need to fit three across.

  • Reply Amy May 10, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    I was the same as you, until we realized when my son was 9 that he slept so much better in the summer! Because of summer swim league and being in the pool for hours every day! Suddenly he didn’t take an hour to fall asleep at night. We enrolled him in year round swimming and it’s been such a benefit for him.

    Like you I always thought I wanted to be able to protect our time, protect my kid from having to be on the go all the time, etc, until I realized that was a goal and desire for ME, not for him. He thrives on the routine, the structure, and the challenge, and plus he’s really good at it, which boosts his confidence. I have learned over the years to parent the child I have, not the imaginary family I thought I would have where everyone else is just like me. So all that to say, when it’s a good fit for the child, it’s a good fit for the family — even if, for these years, you have to schedule your travel and plan your weekends around soccer tournaments. That is a sacrifice for sure, but if your child is thriving, it’s one that I think is worth making.

    (Also, traveling for swim meets has become a real bonding experience for my husband and son, which I think is a great added bonus.)

  • Reply Erica May 10, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    My oldest child is in kindergarten I would have thought we had a few years still before this got to be an issue… but so many of his peers have packed schedules. Weekends full of lessons and sports, plus weekday extracurricular activities all over the city (for the “best” version of this or that). I’m trying really hard to stick to what is genuinely helpful: school-based activities (which are also childcare) during the week, and no organized activities on weekends. I know it will slowly creep in but I want it to be positive and joyful rather than a race to keep my kid from falling behind in the resume arms race.

    • Reply Amy May 11, 2023 at 6:51 am

      Totally. I do think waiting until later elementary to introduce that busy schedule is important.

    • Reply Daria May 11, 2023 at 1:14 pm

      Yes x100

  • Reply Jen May 11, 2023 at 5:01 am

    We have the opposite issue. My husband and I were both in competitive sports growing up and I loved it and couldn’t wait to be a sports mom. Turns out neither of my girls are into sports or competitive activities. They have other hobbies but none that involve competing. I would love to be able to watch the girls play a sport they are good at but that’s not their path.

    • Reply Katie G May 11, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Yep that’s me. I try to enjoy the flex in schedules that results. But some sadness! They don’t even watch sports with me but my husband doesn’t either so I should have predicted this, lol. Okay one kid does tennis with some degree of passion, he might make it to senior year? My main concern is that they just get enough physical activity, real concern as they get closer to college

  • Reply sarah May 11, 2023 at 8:06 am

    It’s hard to have perspective on this until you’ve been there and have tweens, etc. we have a kiddo who is an excellent athlete, but he is only 11, so we are trying really hard to have him play seasonal sports instead of ONLY doing his preferred sport all year– at least until high school. sports ARE part of the family rhythm– but they sneaked up on us.

    • Reply Grateful Kae May 11, 2023 at 8:33 am

      Sarah, I totally agree that this one of those things that you just kind of can’t possibly “get” until you’re faced with it/ in it. And honestly even the less competitive sports/ activities can still be a big time suck, even if you’re not on the “AAAA All Star League” or whatever. My son’s very low-key middle school volleyball team still practices 2x/ week (90 min each) + currently 2-3 games per week which can be up to ~35 minutes away- and this is definitely not a club or “travel” league for this particular sport.

  • Reply Milly May 11, 2023 at 9:32 am

    Great comments. I especially appreciate the idea that you have to look at your child and figure out what is actually best for them, not what you think is best for them. My son plays both travel hockey and travel baseball. Hockey season is insanely long here (August through March) and then there’s spring and camps and the secret skates and the rest of the arms race. Baseball is less intense for us as compared to hockey, but still starts in November for practicing with the season starting in spring. Here’s the thing though – he loves all of it. He loves his teams, the winning, the losing, the sweating, the tournament weekends, the coaches… we’ve been fortunate to have a good stock of parents too. My son is not some phenom athlete either. He’s got a hard work ethic and is extremely coachable with some base talent.

    I find there’s sometimes a narrative that travel sports are bad and that you shouldn’t push kids that hard, but when your kid is naturally wired that way, why would I deny him that experience? It is social currency too, as someone else mentioned. He doesn’t play basketball but I put in a hoop last summer because it’s a non-travel sport for him to mess around with casually. Kids flock to the driveway…and when they are all playing these sports, they are not on screens. Participating in high level activities, be it hockey, drama, band, boy scouts or whatever, is a great way to deal with screens. Don’t give them a ton of time to spend on them!

    Someone mentioned vacations…. yeah, we basically can go away only over spring break, christmas break or late July. It’s virtually impossible to go any other time…that’s ok though. The years are short. This will all be over before we know it. When my son has moved on, I’ll vacation off season and get the deals then :p

    One more thing to consider – as your kids get older than 5, the ones who are “skilled” at a sport will start to leave the rec leagues. The competition can get weaker and that can leave some kids frustrated. If your kid just wants to play, it’s not a big deal but that can be hard for others. Many kids want to experience excelling at something and playing with and against stronger competition is what makes that happen!

    • Reply KGC May 11, 2023 at 9:57 am

      My son got a basketball hoop for Christmas (despite my husband and I sort of…despising…basketball) and I am SO GLAD. As you say, the kids flock to it! It gets used It’s a great alternative to screens, we don’t have to be out there to monitor him (you can always hear the ball bounce!), and he’s made friends with other kids in the neighborhood that he otherwise probably wouldn’t have known. I know this is a really nuanced point and not the whole point of your comment, but this one struck a chord!

      • Reply Milly May 11, 2023 at 3:04 pm

        Yes! It’s so nice to be able to say ‘go shoot around’. It’s also a good experience for my son to play a sport that isn’t his strongest. A little humility….LOL!

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 11, 2023 at 3:55 pm

          C is playing casual rec league summer basketball this summer though I admit the main benefit of summer bball vs field sports is indoor courts are air conditioned!

    • Reply Amy May 11, 2023 at 7:40 pm

      I appreciate this comment, especially your point about some kids thriving on the competition and challenge. I totally hear the narrative about keeping kids out of travel sports, protecting family time, etc and I hear that and think it’s applicable to many families — but not to all. My son would be frustrated and bored to tears just playing casual pickup games or low-key rec leagues. He’s no phenom, either, he’s just a regular kid who wants to be challenged in that way, and that’s fine. Like you say, why would I deny him that? So it’s easier for us to vacation when we want?

  • Reply Natka May 11, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    I really enjoyed reading all the comments! Totally agree that it all depends… on the personality of the kids, on the family priorities, and on the parental preferences*! Like with most parenting stuff – there is not one-fits-all solution, and what works great for one family would be a complete nightmare for another.

    We have 3 kiddos, ages 14, 12, and 9. The two older kids participate in school clubs and school sports – I love that they have these opportunities and encourage them to do more. It is also pretty convenient because the middle school is only 5 minutes away. The youngest is currently doing rec soccer (once a week). All kids take private music lessons. The oldest is also a concertmaster in local youth orchestra.
    We are definitely on the “less busy” end of the spectrum for kids (and ourselves) – but this is always evolving. None of the kids are super-competitive or expressed strong interest in participating in anything competitive, be it music, spelling bee, or sports. They like the social aspect of sports and clubs. None of the 3 (at least for now) want anything that’s high-pressure, intense, or requires a lot of practice.

    I love what a few people said already – kids being busy with activities means less time on screens (and less time arguing with parents about it).

    Personally, I love having “down” time, where I can just read a book, or bake, or play board games without feeling rushed to get to the next thing. I love unstructured time – and need it for my sanity 🙂
    That said, some kid activities actually provide that – I can drop a kid off and then just sit and read, or go for a walk, or spend that time playing games with another child who tags along for the lesson or practice.

    *Like, if parents are dedicated to hiking and camping and want to go most weekends (and kids only minimally complain), that’s fantastic – but that means no time for weekend soccer games. At least until the kids are old enough to drive themselves!

  • Reply Natka May 11, 2023 at 4:16 pm

    Question: what in the world is “social currency”?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 11, 2023 at 4:24 pm

      I guess “popularity points”? (Not saying I love the concept but that’s what I understand it to mean!)

      • Reply Natka May 11, 2023 at 4:56 pm

        That makes sense.
        Definitely an interesting concept.

  • Reply Milly May 11, 2023 at 5:08 pm

    To me, it’s different than straight popularity. Having knowledge of or playing sports is a way to relate to your peers, at least among the 9-10 year old boys I know. It’s like when there is a pick up game of basketball at recess, my son feels confident to hop in and play. Having that confidence and ability opens social doors and gives opportunities to make friends. It’s not sport specific…. Like the kids who are big into drama and theater where I work have their own version.

  • Reply Amanda May 11, 2023 at 7:44 pm

    Congrats to C! It sounds like a great opportunity and fit for him. This is an interesting topic and comments thread. What age do others think kids generally know what they truly want to do?

    Sharing my own experience with younger kids — I let both of my children to choose one sport per season, and they are generally one practice and one game per week. They do other activities straight after school. We don’t have evening childcare or family nearby, and my spouse works a few nights a week. The current schedule feels like a lot for our family, even with car pooling.

    My oldest is 8 and asked to sign up for swimming this summer. It requires transportation from swim to camp during the work day each weekday and 6:30a Saturday swim meets. I told him it did not work for our family, although I think swimming is fantastic. I have some fomo, but we are not even awake that early on Saturdays in the summer. I didn’t feel like my 8yo understood that even though he wants to swim with friends.

    • Reply Amy May 11, 2023 at 9:37 pm

      I think it takes much longer than we think for kids to really know what they want. And even then, what they want might not line up with what is best for them. My kid might love travel soccer but if it’s taking away from more important things (school achievement, family relationships, a balanced relationship to sport in general), then it’s my responsibility as a parent to make that decision. It can be a hard thing to discern and balance.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 11, 2023 at 9:48 pm

        Yes and what they want at 9 might not be what they want at 10 (or even 9.5, lol)

  • Reply Heather May 12, 2023 at 10:09 am

    I have nothing to add except that after reading the post and comments, I am further convinced that my partner and I are too self involved with our own activities to have children:)

  • Reply Laura Erdman May 12, 2023 at 5:43 pm

    These are all super insightful comments! I have 4 children – the youngest are twins and about to graduate from HS. They are all ending up in completely different paths – from an ivy league junior to one who is not going to college (yet, maybe not at all – she’ll be playing ice hockey). I really admire and support and will echo again all the advice to listen to your child, watch their cues, facilitate and encourage whatever it is that catches their interest and is leading to growth, learning, social interactions, and their own personality development. Their lives are not about us at all – and they’re growing up in a very different world than we did….
    My husband and I commented on the drastically different lives of our children, but noticed that each and every one is pursuing his/her own interest with passion and excellence!
    Let them ‘drink from the cup’ while they can!!!!

  • Reply Jenny May 13, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    Well, both my kids are heavily into music (although my son is now in college- majoring in music- so his schedule doesn’t affect me anymore.). Every time I complain about the busy schedule and schlepping my daughter around to rehearsals and concerts, I think “at least it’s not a travel sports team!” From what I understand, that is much more of a commitment, time-wise and financially. But, if one of my kids wanted to do it I would have let them (I was saved from having to make this decision by having two un-athletic kids.) I think you’ll know if this is working out or not, and if it’s something your son really loves, you’ll find a way to make it work. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.