Something I can’t stand lately is all the pressure I’m getting about putting my son into sports. When did T-ball and soccer become a staple in the lives of our 3 year olds? I know I’m probably going to get a lot of people disagreeing with me here, and that’s okay.
I personally don’t think it’s going to make or break a kid if he or she wasn’t into sports, along with 27 other extra activities when they were 3 years old; and I hate that just because I have a son, everyone is expecting him to play T-ball or something of that manner by the time he starts kindergarten.
Here is my short and simple philosophy – they have the rest of their lives to be busy. Just look at how busy your life is as an adult. Even if you cut out half of the extras that your kids were in, your schedule would still fill up some type of way. I think it’s just the American way – we do not know how to sit still and I hate that. What happened to family dinners together, with everyone at the table? Instead we are grabbing food here and there, the kids that have practice are eating in the car, the ones that are still ‘too little’ to play are eating with a parent at home. And what about our weekends? What happened to weekend road trips to the grandparents or simple trips to the park with everyone? And Sunday’s which are supposed to be left for church and family time? The more I’m around families that have their kids in sports, the more I hear about practices and games on the weekends and even during some holidays. WHY?!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m against all sports at all ages; I just don’t understand why we are busying up our little ones schedules if we don’t have to. When we’ve had a busy week, there have been countless times that my child has actually said, “I just want to stay home today and play with my toys.” In those moments, I’m SO thankful that we can chose to do that and not have to commit to a game or practice. And I do recognize that some of it is about exercise and socialization, but let’s be honest, we as parents can make sure that happens in other ways and frankly, for a lot less cost.
All I’m trying to say here is don’t be shocked when I don’t over-involve my son into extra things. I make sure he’s exposed to other children; I make sure he rides his bike in the evenings and I make sure he understands how to play well with others. In doing that, I also expose him to different things like taking him to my dad’s farm and letting him watch as my dad changes a tire or drains the oil in the tractors. We often sit at the train station and watch for trains, discussing how we think the engine works, or we go for nature walks and talk about why we only see lightening bugs in the summer. We take time, and more importantly, we HAVE the time to talk about these things, we have the time to help ignite the common sense I know he has. He doesn’t need to be involved in t-ball, soccer or football right now to prove he’s an athletic child. He’s still learning how to put his shoes on the correct feet. He has plenty years in life to prove he’s ‘athletic’ or into sports IF that’s what he’s into. He only has a couple more years to be little, to be innocent and to be “still”, so stop asking me for his schedule, he doesn’t have one!