Monday, June 30, 2008

When is enough...enough?-BHM

Brutally Honest Mondays” border=

I have asked myself this a lot lately. So when IS enough, ya know, enough? I told you I would bring up the subject of putting our kids in too many activities...but not putting them in any at all seems a bit harsh also...right?

I find myself torn a little. I understand the whole concept of putting a child into too many activites that they aren't able to be, well, a child! I understand that fully I do. But I also feel that we are doing a disservice to our children if we don't introduce them to things that could potentially make their life fuller!

I was talking to a woman, whose opinion I hold very high, a few weeks ago. She was saying that she wasn't going to put her child into one of the Charter schools down here because she doesn't feel that sending a child home with hours of homework is doing the child any good. She said these words, "When my kids get home I have my OWN agenda for them...my OWN education to feed them. It may not consist of books and things of a scholastic nature, but they consist of things just as important, things like piano and violin lessons, dance, and extracurricular activites such as sports! Doesn't that education equal that of scholarly education?" (I'm paraphrasing here...she said a lot more and way more eloquently!)

I truly agree with her. They have 7 hours of scholastic learning, regulary, in a day. Why must they also come home and add more hours to that?

I know that dancing as much as I did after school, kept me out of A LOT of trouble. Not that I didn't find myself in trouble now and again. I just know that because of my LOVE of it I didn't mind the time that I put towards it as I got older.

I do, however, remember when I was young...How I rebelled at having to go to dance instead of playing with my neighbor friends. Don't get me wrong...I played and had free time quite a bit when I was younger...but I also danced A LOT. As I got older I was put in gymnastics and piano. I can honestly say that I HATED interrupting my play schedule to go to these things, but I loved it while I was there. It's funny how that worked.

When I got a little older I dared to ask my Mom if I could add ONE more thing to my hectic schedule...luckily she believed in the keep-a-child-busy-to-keep-them-out-of-trouble philosophy and agreed to let me play soccer...but if it conflicted with anything...I was to choose Dance first, then piano, then gymnastics, then soccer. Lucky for me...they didn't conflict TOO often...I had coaches that were able to work practices around my schedule that didn't affect anyone else on the team...seriously, I was incredibly lucky...because I LOVED TO PLAY !

Anyhow...I know how keeping me busy affected my life! But I realize that there needs to be discretion and priority handled by the parent. I understand that my child is still young...that if I involve him or her in TOO much that I am being, in a way, abusive to them. I need to choose what would best serve his NEEDS and WANTS and figure how they will work with mine...because I'm selfish like that...for example, I LOVE SOCCER and want my children to play...so they don't have a choice in that right now, but as they get older...if I don't see the drive and passion and they absolutely don't want to play...then I will let them choose whatever path they decide. :( However sad that may make me!

What are children if we can't live A LITTLE through them? I kid, I kid...a little.

So what are your feelings? Do you believe that getting your child INVOLVED with a lot of things can be damaging to them? Or do you feel that it is okay and healthy. Is there an age limit to start these sorts of things...can you add on as they get older or should you take away?

I believe that getting them involved is healthy...I think you have to assess (thanks Kritta for reminding me that I wasn't talking about butt's 'asses', I was indeed meaning assess! lol) your child first and know, as a parent, what you think they can handle. Take away if necessary...and when it all comes down to it...as long as the child is loving what they are involved in...then there is NO wrong, in my mind, of letting them continue in what makes them happy! There is always that added bonus of them staying out of trouble because they are either involved or too exhausted to try! :)

16 comments:

Mrs. Flinger said...

Great question and I, too, was in dance/gymnastics/piano (I always hated piano) and it did keep me out of trouble but I hated leaving my play time.

But the thing is this: kids do things they hate and love all the time. I think the key is your child. When/if it's too much, you'll know by their attitude. If they STILL hate it when they're there? Maybe it's time to pull something.

Still, though. Great question. And thanks for playing BHM!! :-)

Staci said...

I love reading your blogs they are so entertaining. So we are comin down on Thursday afternoon and will be there till sunday I don't know if you were still up for taking pics just let me know thanks!

Kritta22 said...

I totally think that kids should be involved in things! I did piano, swimming, soccer. My sister threw in horse riding too. It was pretty much what our parents could afford. My mom was also all about keeping us busy, making different friends then just at school and learning things for later. I took piano since I was 3 and play for church now. It's definately a gift that my parents gave me. Even though I HATED going and practicing!

nicolefurness said...

friend of krystals. had to leave a comment cuz i hate when people visit and dont do the same. entertaining blog. love it. i will be back!!

nicolefurness said...

so i am not photographer at all but i just bought the nikon d60 after i returned the canon rebel xti. now i want the rebel back :) i just cant make up my mind. what are your thoughts? i just talked to krystal and she says you are coming out here (minnesota) soon. it will be fun to meet you :)

nicolefurness said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JWilson said...

For the most part I agree with you. I wont send my kids to a ahrter school because they don't offer the extracuriular activities that the public ones do. I think extracuricular activites are very important for children, they teach them things that they can't learn in the classroom.

As for being involoved in to much. I think as a parent you have to know your child, some children can be involoved in a million things and be just fine while others can't even handle one extra activity. I also think it should be the childs choice, if you force your child to do omething they hate it will just cause problems for them and you.

Now when do you start, I think it's smart to limit the amount of activities to one or two untill they start school and you are able to see how your child is handling school and their activities. From there you can decided to add or take away.

brooke&dus said...

I have to say when I was younger I used to do dance and I remember going to class and I told my mom I hated it and she didn't make me go back, but I kind of always wish she would have made me because I never continued doing dance even though to this day I love it and wished I would have been busy doing things like that through HS....I know it would have kept me out of A LOT of trouble!! I think it's good to have them in lots of things that way they can find out what they like and don't like....I agree with the first comment!

'That Girl' said...

I think one, maybe two activities is plenty for a child of any age. To get anything out of it they need to focus on the one thing. I took dance growing up and I can remember times that I just wished we could go home after school! Kids need downtime.

*Merrianne* said...

I think too many activities are not good for a kid. I do not think it lets them BE who they really are....they do not have time to use their imaginations because they are constantly being told HOW to have fun....HOW to play....you know what I mean?

Play time & Fun time should be more free :)

That's my opinions....then of course I am In Da South....we believe in Barefoot Kids Runnin Around outside & Playing all the time......makin mud pies, playin with dirt & worms.....etc....so It might just be a Culture Thing :)

Amanda said...

The thought of having a idle kid scares me. Not now necessarily, but when they are like 11-18 yo. Too much is probably not good. But when I see older kids hanging out at convenience stores, and playgrounds, I think they need something better to do with their time.

Marie + Jeff said...

For a non-mother, please take my comments in stride because, ya know, I don't know what I'm doing yet...

My opinion on the subject of extra-ciricular activities is this: one activity at a time. For instance, a child should not be taking piano and violin lessons while also playing soccer and taking swimming lessons.
My reasoning for this opinion is simple: if a parent is constantly drving their kids from one activity to another, where does the family time come in? where does the play time come in? where does the nap time come in (because heaven knows both will need a nap!)?
I think that summer may be different activity-wise as there is a full day to fill versus just a few hours after school, but I still feel like attention needs to be given to certain activites in order to allow the child to 1) learn what they are there to learn and 2) have enough time in the activity to determine if it is something that they would like to continue learning/playing/doing.
I do agree that I want my kids to be involved in sports and be well-rounded, but I don't agree with overscheduling them so as they are wiped out by the end of the day and fall asleep at the dinner table...

There, I'm done.

blueflowertreasures said...

It is so very important that kids have "down time"...time to think and play and create and to do all that without be told "do it now before we go to piano". My favorite memories of childhood aren't the dance lessons or choir rehersals, but the long lazy days spent with my sister in some make-believe scenario in our castle (table with blankets over it). Childhood is short enough...I'm not going to rush my children through it. Now teenagers...those people should be kept busy, lol!

FTR, currently, our oldest children (7 and 9) are doing no activities as we enjoy summer. In the fall, we will do some homeschool league sport (probably basketball) for those old enough. We've done piano in the past, but stopped when we moved. We may start again in the fall if I can find a teacher who will come to us.

~Rebecka

Lynette said...

To be...honest. I just think there needs to be balance. I believe in keeping them busy, but then.. that also keeps ME busy, and I'm busy enough. LOL.

Heather said...

I didn't get to be in a lot of organized activities as a kid because we lived in the country and both my parents worked. The few things we were involved with my mom was also involved with.

We haven't had to cross this bridge with our little yet (she's only one), but I know that we will definitely put limits on how many activities she can do. I'd rather not live out of the minivan eating only at the drive-thrus.

Great post!

Spencer said...

i think it is nice for them to have activities but too many can take away from Family Life.

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