Tag Archives: activities

Kid’s activity schedules…disrupting marriages since minivans were invented

IMG_5218Raising kids is tough.  I struggle all the time worrying about whether or not I’m missing opportunities to impact Eli’s life.  After work, sometimes I’ll do nothing but veg out, and think, “I should probably take this time to do something amazing with him.”  Or, I worry about missing seasons of sports thinking how he may “get behind” the other kids.  What’s difficult is that there is no instruction book for what’s right, and one parent’s perspective can differ greatly from another.

IMG_0383Part of being a good father, husband, employee, and person is learning to have balance in life.  I think too often we are pushed to center our lives around our kids.  Eli likes activities.  If given the chance to do it, he will want to play soccer…and baseball…and basketball…swimming…cub scouts…gymnastics…lacrosse…dancing…wrestling…tennis…and more.  Yikes…that’s a lot!  Even doing just a handful of these will keep us driving back and forth from one activity to another most nights of the week.  And we just have ONE child.  I can only imagine what it would be like when you have multiple kids with busy schedules.  As parents we try very hard to make sure Eli is not over-scheduled.  We have a loose rule that he can only be involved in one sport at a time.  If he wants to play baseball, that’s great…but he has to stop gymnastics.

IMG_1723I think the difficulty lies in wanting your child to have every opportunity to maximize their potential.  If they are physically gifted…you WANT to give them every chance to do their best.  If they are academically gifted…you WANT to do everything you can to help that grow.  We would be slighting our kids if we DIDN’T give them opportunities to grow if there is an area they are gifted and interested in.  The question is…how can you do that and maintain balance in life? 

I think it’s important to figure out what’s the point of being a kid?  Is it to train to become a professional athlete?  Is it to become a genius?  Let’s be honest…statistically speaking, (according to the interwebs) if 100 people read this article, around 10 will have a kid that goes on to play sports at college.  And out of 100 people, 0 will have kids that play professionally.  But out of 100 kids…ALL of them will become adults…and CLOSE to all of them will be married and have kids.  So I think it makes sense to focus the majority of our energy on developing these areas.

  • how to be a husband/wife
  • how to be a father/mother
  • how to be responsible with money
  • how to love God
  • how to make friends
  • how to love others

IMG_2242One of the dangers in putting TOO much of your time and energy into kid’s activities is that the rest of your life can suffer because of it…things like your marriage relationship, your personal health and well being, and your ability to impact other people with your life.  With no margin left in life, it can be easy for these things to fall by the wayside.

I definitely do not have this mastered.  And I’m not totally sure the ways I’ve tried to balance life IS what’s best.  But I think it’s something that is important to think about and make sure to keep in mind.

My challenge to you:

Don’t let your kids activities dominate your life.  Make sure to keep a balance.  Don’t neglect nurturing an interest or talent they have in something, but make sure the push to become great at an activity doesn’t take precedence over the push to become great at becoming an adult.IMG_1933

Yes, I would LOVE to watch that reality TV show about dancing with you

couple-watching-tv_725x377-1360355188So, you want to have a closer relationship with your wife huh?  Here’s something that can help.  Find something you can share an interest in.  If you each always pursue what YOU want to do, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to share life together.  Having an activity, sport, TV show, or hobby that you’re both interested in is a GREAT way to spend more time together and connect better.

Couple-ReadingIt’s tough for me to write about this subject because, to be honest, I have a lot of room for improvement in it.  I did read Twilight (ok) and The Host (pretty good), but on the whole I have a hard time choosing to read the types of books she’s interested in reading.  We have a few TV shows that we both enjoy (Amazing Race, Modern Family, Survivor), but on the whole my TV preferences are MUCH different than hers.  Same with movies…I like explosions and adventure.  National Treasure is probably the archetype for my ideal movie…whereas hers is Lars and the Real Girl.

I KNOW that I should suck it up and watch So You Think You Can Dance, or Parenthood, or Celebrity Game Night, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  I know that I should read more books that she reads as a way to understand and connect with her more.  I know that I should sit through watching The Tree of Life as a way to understand more about what she loves, but I just haven’t.

tennisfansHow great would it be if I put aside what I wanted to do and decided to pursue an interest in something she was interested in.  Or if we both decided to get into a new hobby together (dancing, painting, etc).

My advice to you:
Try out some of the things your wife is into.  Even if it is not something you’re interested in, try it out as a way to connect with her more.  And talk with her about finding a new activity that you both could get into and try it together.  Even if you don’t fall in love with the new activity, at least you’re experiencing it together…which can be fun.