Friday, October 21, 2011

Kids' activities

My boys are coming home with brochures:  can they sign up for wrestling programs?  Hip hop classes?  Karate lessons?  Soccer teams?  These brochures all end up going into the trash (or, more specifically, the paper-recycling bin).  I don't want to spend the money -- that's stating the obvious -- but even more, I don't want to sacrifice that much time.

Here's my rant.

I go to a lot of conferences where people talk about whether their work places are "family friendly".  I think that's a reasonable question for employers to consider.  But it's been my experience that a lot of kids' activities are just as family un-friendly as many workplaces are.  I came to that realization when my daughter was about 10 years old.  She was really into dance, and the one dance class I signed her up for blossomed into 3 dance classes each week.  Parents had to sit outside the dance room.  So three nights a week, I'd drive her to dance classes and sit by myself, away from my daughter and also away the rest of my family.

She was also on various soccer teams for a while.  I'd take her there and stand on the sidelines, watching her exercise, while I myself got further and further out of shape . . . bleah.

Enough was enough.
  • The next year, I signed us both up for a inter-mural team at our college.  She was the youngest person on the team and I was the oldest, but we got to play together and we had a lot of fun. 
  • I hired a friend who teaches dance to come over to our home for "family dance classes".  We cleared out the garage, invited the neighbors, and learned the swing.  Great!  It was fun dancing with my 2-year-old son and my 50-year-old husband at the same time.
My boys take weekly drum lessons, and in January they'll join a church-league basketball team.  I'm not a total party pooper.  But I still pick-and-choose their activities carefully, and I still try to value family time over paid kids' activities, even though family time is free.

Rant done.

No comments:

Post a Comment