Sunday, October 4, 2015

I think I signed my kid up for too much crap

Monday - Cub Scouts
Tuesday - Karate
Thursday - Karate
Saturday - Football

My kid would also want to sign up for wrestling, Lego Lab, winter swim lessons, drama classes, dance, and a host of other expensive, time sucking activities.

He always think all the different classes sound so cool!

Kid- I want to wrestle!
Me- Do you even know what it is? You've never been to a match in your life. It's not like professional wrestling, you know that right?

Kid- I want to take football and tackle!
Me- Umm sorry, at your age, it's only flag football.

So we make compromises. He can pick one or two things that fit into our schedule. That won't interfere with naptime and dinnertime and that won't require a second mortgage on our house.

My oldest child, Gus, has done a crapload of these kind of classes in his seven years. Most he enjoyed. Most were just covering the basics of music, dance, baseball, football, soccer, gymnastics, etc, etc. Now that he is 7 and in 2nd grade though, a lot of the class offerings are getting a bit more intense.

He enjoys karate, which up until he turned 7 was a once a week class that taught basic stuff. Well, from what I can tell, once a child turns 7 they need to step it up a notch. It is now twice a week and other places offer 2-4 times a week.

Image credit: morguefile.com

After a week or two of this, one day he got off the bus and I told him, "Grab your uniform, time for karate."

"I don't want to go," he whined, "I liked it better when it was one day a week."

"If you don't want to do it anymore, I won't sign you up again, but we have to finish this session." I told him. But, the thing is, he does want to continue karate, but just once a week. Just for the fun of it.

Saturday morning rolled around, time for football. "Why does it have to be on Saturday morning?" he grumbled. "All I want to do is sit around in my underwear and watch cartoons!"

What the hell am I doing to my kid?

He is so excited to sign up for all this shit, to learn a little about each sport and each sport seems to want him to have the same dedication as a much older kid. Like, they want him to dedicate his life to baseball or karate or whatever.

He is a 7 year old little boy.

I look at the class descriptions for some of this shit and classes run twice a week from 6-8pm or parents will need to purchase this, this and this uniform and I want to scream at the rec departments and the YMCAs and all of society, he is a 7 year old little boy, damnit!

No, he can't stay at practice until 8pm, he goes to bed at 8! No, I will not take out a loan for equipment, he is only 7!

Why?

This is what I am supposed to do, aren't I? This how my generation parents, isn't it? We cart our kids around from class to class.

Is it fear of missing out? If ALL these classes are offered, my kid better take at least some of them, right? Otherwise he'll be missing out.

I just don't know.




What are your thoughts about over-scheduling kids? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!



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Thank you for sharing!

21 comments:

  1. It is hard because you don't want to seem "mean" by not letting them do things but these schedules can get ridiculous. My step-son used to do football and baseball. That was enough for me. I was happy that he wanted to participate but the older he got the more they expected from them. They were in middle school and they would be practicing every day for three hours a day. It was crazy!

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    1. I am dreading middle school for that reason! Just think there's still homework after practice. And eating and sleeping too! Thanks for reading!

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  2. We usually stick to the rule of: one physical activity or sport, one other activity (music or art or whatever.) More than that and it would be too much, for them and us!

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  3. When the kids were younger we tried to stick with the rule just 2 activities at a time. It meant compromises, but it seemed to work.

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  4. OH, I could not be more with you on this one. My kids are 11 and 9 and we have managed to stick to the rule of 'one activity at a time per kid' and STILL the older they get the more time each one requires. So, at the moment that means: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and one weekend day (the weekend day schedule changes so much I never know till the last minute when the game is and thus can never schedule anything - boo hiss!) for soccer.

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    1. Geez! I feel like they will expect Olympic medal training dedication by the time they start high school! Thank you for reading!

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  5. I have a little one still so we aren't quite into the overscheduling yet, but I can only imagine what it will be when he gets there in a few years. Just from friends I feel like that some kids get way too over scheduled and it affects attitudes and the whole process of being a kid. I think sometimes its nice to have a relaxing weekend without 10 sports games!

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    1. Yes! Only a few more Saturday morning football practices and then it's done! I think we are both looking forward to it. Thanks for reading!

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  6. I just read a study from the university of Colorado that said children who have a less structured schedule actually do better with reaching their personal goals...whatever that might mean for a 7 year old. I don't have any tips as my kids are still under 3 but I wish you luck! Christine - The Choosy Mommy, www.choosykids.blogspot.com

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  7. I am actually one of those mom's that doesn't schedule them for anything until we know for sure it is what they want to do. My youngest is restricted from doing a lot of contact activities due to his extra needs, while my older ones weren't really interested in sports, more into music or hunting.

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    1. Yes, I think if it is more restrictive they have to really focus on what they like! Will have to try that.

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  8. Currently my 7 year old daughter isn't in a single activity, but I have been thinking about getting her in one. Maybe I am worried she is missing out. Thanks for sharing! This post helped me realize not to put her in too much at once. I like the 2 activities at at time rule from The Plagued Parent's comment. I will have to keep these things in mind when the time comes. I am not in too much of a rush! :)

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    1. Fear of missing out is huge, I think for us as parents as much for kids.

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  9. Yes, yes and yes! I can so relate to this with both my kids and honestly not sure when this trend started, but each day I feel like I am running a marathon trying to get my girls to their different respective activities for that day. I am seriously so guilty of this and just glad it isn't just me!

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    1. Glad to hear I'm not alone! Not sure why we keep doing this to ourselves, I'm just hoping it will all work out in the end!

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  10. I must confess I'm glad my kids are grown and I don't have to worry about all that scheduling stuff. I went by my kids' reactions. If they hated it, (like sports) we stopped. If they loved it (like guitar) we kept going. Somehow we ended up with two great musicians!

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    1. I am so glad they found something to be passionate about! I can only hope when my kids are older they find theirs!

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