XP: Limiting activities — The Bump
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XP: Limiting activities

What limits do you place on outside activities for your child(ren) and do you decide or do you involve them in the decision?  I think that logistically, due to work schedules and also the number of things DS wants to be involved in, we are at the point where we are going to have a draw the line and drop an activity.  We just had our first meeting for fall soccer the other night and we will be on the soccer field a lot in late summer through November so something is going to have to go.

Just wondering how to go about this as I know DS wants to do everything and I want to get him to the realization that this is not feasible, rather than me just dictating that he needs to drop xyz.  How do you deal with this?


Re: XP: Limiting activities

  • All kids are different in how try handle things but I think you need to just tell him that there is not enough days in the week to do everyone and something has to go and then ask him which he prefers to do. Or if you have a real preference then make the decision and tell him. Sometimes a parent knows best and it is ok to dictate to them if needed. If you have no preference then let him decide. And tell him that going forward he will get to do one thing at a time.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • image-auntie-:

    You have to do what works as a family, but also keep in mind his needs. Age plays a big part, too. If he's older and doing well in school, have him problem solve to come up with a way to make it work independent of you. If he's school age, he should have some say in what gives if it comes to that.

    I always made sure mine had at least one in-school and one out-of-school activitiy. Mine does best when he's kept busy. 

    I agree w/this and do want him to be involved.  I am going to allow 2 activities - right now there are three he wants to do in fall.  This soccer program (which is the one I know he will keep as that is definitely his priority) is going to take up too much time to keep all three, even though he is our only.  The other two activities are through school, so he will keep one in-school and one out-of-school.

    He is entering third grade, which I have been told means more homework and projects so I just want to make sure he can handle everything.


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  • I have to confess that I'm not big on loading my kids up with TONS of activities.  I don't feel it's necessary, and I'm personally too busy with work to haul my kids to a million different things.  

    I like the idea of one sport and one club per kid at a time. When my DD is in high school in 2 years, she can choose add'l activities offered in high school such as journalism or debate.  I'd like her to do one sport, one academic or publication activity, and one community service project.  It's more important in the eyes of colleges to stick with a few things than to do a million different things.

    My DS is also going into 3rd grade.  He does one sport -- karate -- which he loves and which is year round.  He practices once a week with occasional tournaments on weekends.  He is about to start piano lessons after vacation.  He may do after school chorus this year, which is open to 3rd graders.  That will be all for this year, though.  I want him to have time to chill out and time for playdates.  Some of his friends are so busy with sports that they can never come over to play.  It's sad to see 8 year old boys with no time to make forts, fly paper airplanes, and get on their big sisters' nerves. 

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • rsd12rsd12 member
    I don't know how families do multiple sports and activities in a season. Not for us, plus some activities overlap and then it is not fair to a team. Right now we have a 1 sport and 1 activity per season. Plus with Ccd and sports for three boys... Ugh!

    My oldest does want to try football in the fall, and I found a program that will allow him to play both sports, soccer on sat and football on Sunday, and then our 5 yr old will also play soccer in the fall. We will just start camping out at the fields!
    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
  • We do limit the number of activitites but we keep the kids involved in the decision making.  When they were younger, they did a once a week 30 min swim lesson and could do one other activity other than in summer when we only did swim lessons.  We had them try different things - gymnastics, soccer, dance.  This spring the girls did a 4 week track class through school that met on Sunday evenings plus they still do swim lessons and we did t-ball as well.  When all 3 were going it was way to much.  T-Ball was 2x a week which I did not like and my younger DD was over it a few weeks before the season ended.

    This fall the girls will both have religious school on Sunday mornings, swim lessons on Wed (that will be the 1st thing to go sometime in the next year or 2 I am guessing), girl scouts (once a week after school plus random other events in the evenings or the weekend) and a dance class.  I think its plenty when you add in homework and family time.

    I would love to drop swim lessons at this point as both girls are good swimmers but they love it and of all the sports - this is one they are both really enjoying and really good at plus it makes me feel safer when we boat or swim so it won't get dropped until they ask. We will see how dance goes - we are taking through the city but its still more demanding than what they have done before so we will see how they like it and if they want to do it all school year and for the recital stuff in the spring.  I will have no issue pulling them out if they try and don't love it (unless its after we order the costume and I can't get a refund!!!!)

    I'm assuming they will do Girl Scouts for a few years - the girls start dropping like flies come 3-4 grade so we have a few more years of that.  In 3rd grade they will add Hebrew School 1-2 times a week after school and at that point, other activities will be limited to 1 thing (be it swimming, dance or Girl Scouts).

    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • Mine are allowed 3 days of activities. Both my girls are doing girl scouts this year, and are in swim in teh spring/summer, and ski in the winter. DD1 is in theatre and DD2 is in dance as well. In the past, they have done soccer and gymnastics but neither wanted to continue. 

    DD1 also wants to do art lessons but at $40/week I don't know if I can stomache it! Plus it would be 4 days of activities/week and that is pushing it. 

    They need time for playdates, bike rides, and ice skating, etc, etc.
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