A dad and I were chatting about sports. He was sharing the sports his child was in and I was sharing the sports our kiddos were in (or lack there of-at the time). "But aren't you afraid they will be behind."
My six year old, unathletic child....behind...at sports. Nope, that really wasn't a concern of mine at the time. The fact that my 3 year old daughter knew ballet moves because of all the books she had read, but had never downed a leotard. Not my biggest problem.
Tony and I have a few things we discuss when it comes to our kids extracurriculars. We are very particular and because of that our kids do not participate in much. Here's our list:
- Is is age appropriate? Are they doing stuff in the sport that we do not find safe for our child? (IE pushing 3 grade wrestlers to drop a pound in a half an hour in order to drop a weight class or practicing in full pads...again 3rd grade...for football in the middle of the hot, humid summer.)
- How much of our families time is it going to consume? How much of our child's time does it consume?
- Does the event take place on a Sunday or a Wednesday night?
- How costly is it not only for our child to participate but also for our family to attend? (Events around here can run up to $6 per person to attend, that is $30 for our family to watch each event.)
We are not anti sports. In fact we love, love, love watching our kids compete. We love what kids learn from sports. We love that in Tball this last summer our kids giggled, were encouraged, were pushed, learned to work with and cheer on a team.
However, we hold church and our family worshiping together in the highest regard. We hold our time at home together as a family in the highest regard. We respect our children's young developing bodies and refuse to allow them, at this age, the stress that some of these sports allow.
We are finding our commitment to this is growing harder. Sweet Pea was devastated when "all" of her best friends did girl scouts and she couldn't. The peewee football coach was not happy when he came to see if Big Brother would be playing football this summer (yes, he's THAT big) and we informed him that he would not be. Our kids are most likely not going to play professionally, and if they do them starting in junior high in football is not going to put them behind. We are choosing to hold on to the moments we have with them. now. As hard as that is for our kids, we know that our families daily health is better for our choices.