I was a tomboy growing up and I did a ton of sports. I loved being on a team; I think that it really helped me build my confidence and I got to have a solid group of friends. I know there is a lot of talk these days about over scheduling your kids, and I agree for the most part with that, so what I am trying to do now while they are still little is have them try a bunch of different activities. I have a gut feeling that some of the things we have them try will be absolutely wrong for them, so that will help steer us into things that are beneficial to each kid.
LeLe is three and a half right now, and she is currently in two activities. She has been in swimming for almost three years now, and we recently added ballet to her week. The swimming is going really well. She loves it, is good at it, and is really happy doing it. She has been slowly moving through the levels and is learning a really valuable skill. I will probably keep her in swimming until at least 10 because I think she will still enjoy it and it is a really good way to get her some exercise.
Ballet was something that she chose on her own and really wanted to try. I was on board and we signed her up for a 6-week class that met once per week. I have to say, this was a bit of a disappointment for me. LeLe is a very active child. She is always in motion, and I thought that it would be a good fit to be in an active class like ballet. But the teacher was not well suited for small children and there was a lot of sitting down time, which none of the kids in the class did well in. Because of this, LeLe was often in lala land and not paying attention. It was honestly really hard to watch because she was having a really hard time paying attention, but she clearly loved the actual dancing parts. Towards the end of the classes, I really started dreading having her go because it was so hard to watch her be so unfocused and bored. I think we may revisit this sometime later, but for now we are going to take a break.
As LeLe gets older, we have talked a lot about what we want her to try, and this includes the activities she has expressed interest in. My rule of thumb right now is that if she asks to try something, I will sign her up for it. I will do the same for Little Bug so that they can both find activities that fit their interests and skills. I have a few activities I want them both to try as well, with an expectation that they may or may not like them and it is their choice to continue.
For Little Bug, he is currently in swimming as well, but in a mommy and child class. We spend a half hour in the pool doing basic movements paired with singing. He mostly tolerates it and really is only in it for the times when he gets to jump into the pool and when he gets to hold onto me and kick around. The singing and the basic movement sections are not his favorite, so we really struggle at times during the class. I want him to continue for the same reasons as LeLe, but if he really shows that he is opposed, I will likely only keep him in long enough for him to learn how to swim well enough that I am not worried about him.
For both kids, I want them to try soccer, basketball, and t-ball. I think all of these team sports are a good way to see if they are suited for athletics, and it is an opportunity for both of them to meet some different kids and have fun interaction with them while learning a sport. I also think that something like boy scouts would be a good idea for Little Bug and give him an activity that is very different from organized sports. For LeLe, I intend to have her in 4H and I really hope that she enjoys it. My goal is to have both of the kids involved in at least two sports or activities. I don’t want to overload them, but I really think that sports and activities were a huge blessing for me and I definitely want them to have similar experiences.
I worry about being a sports/activity mom. I want to encourage both my kids to participate, but I am totally aware that I may get too invested. I never want them to think that their worth to me is contingent on their abilities, but I do want them to explore a lot of different things to see what they like and what they are good at. And if I am totally honest, I can’t wait to see them in little sport uniforms. I mean, what could possibly be cuter than a little boy or girl in a baseball outfit?