With so many kid activities available today, it’s easy to become over-scheduled. Instead of spending quality time at the dinner table, a family eats fast food on the way to karate practice, girl scouts, or any number of sporting events. You have to find a healthy balance between getting your kids out of the house and enjoying family time together. Sometimes, this means your kid will have to give up some activities, but how do you choose?
It depends on the kid and what you want them to get out of their extra curricular activities. For example, we’ve signed our son up for just about everything that’s available to him. We want to give him the opportunity to try everything. At the same time, we don’t want to push him into doing something he doesn’t want to do. The only problem is, our son never wants to do everything.
Regardless of what activity we sign him up for, the first month of going to the events are met with cries of “I don’t want to”, “Why did you sign me up for this”, and “You’re ruining my life.” So, sometimes, your kid needs a little pushing. We’ve always had him finish whatever he was enrolled in. Usually this isn’t a problem. Soccer, basketball, and tee-ball only last for six to eight weeks. Then we signed him up for Cub Scouts. Cub Scouts never ends. It just goes on and on and on. And on.
With sports, we could just wait out the boy’s constant complaining until the end of the season. The only seasons in scouts are Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and they meet during all four of them.
We can’t wait this one out. But we still take him. Why? Because it’s the one activity that we feel he actually needs. Sure sports can help build coordination, something all children lack, but they don’t offer him as many real-world skills and experiences like scouting does.
So we keep pushing. Although the first two or three months were full of protesting, we took him and kept taking him. He’s starting to come out of his shell a little and he was even excited about going to the recent Pinewood Derby Race. We couldn’t believe it. Our son. Excited about something that didn’t involve watching television.
If you’re one of the thousands of parents that find their plate is too full, here’s a breakdown of fun kid activities to help you decide which to keep and which to ditch.