When I grew up I had a friend who did everything. She played piano, she danced, she did sports. I thought that was really cool but I never got a chance to play with her because she was always somewhere doing one of her activities. I had one thing. First it was dance, then piano, then vocal lessons. I only doubled up with activities when I also joined a children’s choir and I was in 6th grade by then. I only did one thing at a time.
I told myself that my kids would only do one thing at a time as well. That opinion changed when Jordan came into my life. I started to focus on skills and activities that could enhance Jordan’s skills. She showed a lot of interest in dance before she was two and needed to work on her balance. So when she was 2 and a half, I put her in dance. When she turned three she had a chance to take part in equestrian therapy which is really great to help build her core strength. I couldn’t say no to that. Now I’ve signed her up for four weeks of soccer. It’s 45 minutes for four Saturday mornings. It will happen while she’s taking dance and before equestrian therapy starts up for the Fall. Honestly, I’m wondering if we have to skip equestrian since I also have Jordan’s brother, Cameron, in soccer and piano… and possibly a recreational flag football team (non-competitive in every way – it focuses on skills). In total, I could end up with each kid taking part in three activities a week.
Crazy? Yes. Very Crazy.
It hits a little closer to home when you see articles like these that claim I should just ignore my kids. I agree that I should put the technology away more often… but I’m not totally convinced that unstructured play is completely removed from my kids’ lives. A little bit of structure and free time seems to make sense. My kids both seem to be better behaved when they run around, especially Cameron. And I would love for them both to try different activities and see what they like the most. So far, Jordan loves dance and horses and Cameron is really enjoying piano and soccer. I want them to learn, play and participate in activities where they interact with other kids outside the structure of school. But with all the running around, will worry about articles that say I’m doing it all wrong. But to me, I feel it’s right for us.