Baseball, football, soccer, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse……a sport for every season, and even overlapping seasons. From that first T-ball games at 5 years old, families by default today keep their children engaged in organized activities, often at the expense of family time and some much needed down time of both kids and parents.
There was a time kids self-organized a neighborhood game or team, but today, organized sports is a way of life.
Although the intention to foster our kid’s individual growth is good, try to strike a balance between the time, energy and resources placed on one member on a Saturday versus activities and time spent together as a family.
One option may be to select a season for a “Sports Break, “a time where the focus is on activities the family does together. Sometimes it helps to plan this well in advance. For example, a family that skis may decide that January thru March is a break time from individual, organized sports. The family is then available every weekend to choose to go skiing, and maybe even enjoy a ski condo. This family time can make for fond memories to look back at when kids are grown up and looking back at childhood.
If you’re worried that your child (or children) may feel upset by your decision, remember that it’s okay for kids to feel disappointment. Once everyone feels the benefits of a less rushed, less extended schedule, and the fun and bonding that is sure to ensue (even despite sibling rivalry), everyone will probably look forward to the next “Sports Break.”