The over-scheduled child
Mr. Small is the youngest of my little clan and as a result, I think he is desperate to do everything his older brother and sister do. Consequently, within ten minutes of their first tennis lesson the other day, I found him holding a racket in his little hands begging to join the class.
The coach was fine with him participating and even though he is only a toddler, he listened keenly and did his best. I found myself feeling very proud of his determination and fierce desire to hit the ball over the net. But at the back of my mind I fretted about him doing too much.
I don’t think I’m alone in worrying about this kind of thing. The trouble is, the older two are big enough to do after school sports. And they are naturally very active. Mr. Small is as well, but I don’t think he’s big enough. Equally I don’t want him throwing tantrums on the sidelines while they play hockey or football because he is frustrated by his limitations. His day is already busy enough with regular daily activities.
So I’m trying to figure this out bit by bit.
I have a girlfriend who has two boys. The older one is destined to be the sport star of tomorrow. The younger one couldn’t care less if he never saw a football field once in his life. So she has to juggle the demands of one with the needs of the other. Like me, her younger son is too small to cope with too much activity but it is for different reasons.
We’ve both had to figure out ways to set boundaries for our children to ensure their needs are being met.
So I try to ensure if we have a sporting activity one day there is a break the next day. It doesn’t always work like that. But like everything with parenting we’re doing our best. How do you juggle your kids activities?