Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kids Today Are So Busy!

I’m actually writing this post while I’m waiting at my daughter’s soccer practice. This weekend we’re picking her up early from cheerleader tryouts so we can travel 2 ½ hours away to a soccer game. Since I found someone to stay with my Mom (she lives with us and has Alzheimer’s disease), we are going to stay overnight in a hotel and make a fun weekend out of it. My husband and I spend a good part of our free time attending our kids’ activities. It sure wasn’t like this when I was a kid.

I grew up in the seventies, and I just don’t remember that many activities being offered to kids outside of basic school activities. The few that were offered, I had to beg and plead to participate in. I remember when I wanted to play softball when I was in second grade. Mom and Dad said I could, but I had to be on the same team as my two older cousins. I think they planned it this way so I could ride with them to practices and games. We only had one vehicle, so I don’t know if it was too much trouble to take me or if they didn’t want to.

As I grew older, I was in band and I tried a few sports at school. Games and events were all local, and there were never any big family outings to attend anything far away. Mom and Dad still didn’t come very often. I remember when I played volleyball in Jr. High that if my dad came to watch, he would bring a newspaper to read. It always seemed like the only times he looked up was when I made a mistake!

My husband’s experience with sports and activities wasn’t much better. Since he was the youngest of seven children, by the time his time came around his parents had grown weary of chauffeuring kids all over the place. When he did play baseball, his dad would actually walk over from the town bar to watch a game. He would stand behind the plate and every time he had a strike, he’d sternly yell out, “Come on, son!”

So, I don’t know if maybe some of us feel we were deprived as children, so we overcompensate by having our kids in every activity under the sun. Maybe we are trying to live out our unrealized dreams through them. Or maybe, we’re just caught up in the idea that we have to do more and more for our kids to be a good parent. I don’t know what it is, but I’m just happy my laptop has a decent battery so I can write about it while I’m waiting!


  1. My parents encouraged me to do things and were willing to drive me and go to as many games and events as possible. I think it does have something to do with overcompensating though as they didn't have those kinds of opportunities when they were growing up.

  2. That's intense about your husband's father walking over from the bar. You children are blessed you are so involved in their lives.

  3. That's interesting. I wonder if my kids won't want to take their kids to activities since they did so much!

    Roxie - Yeah, his dad was a character. He really wasn't a heavy drinker, he just did what he wanted and didn't care about what people thought. That was over 20 years ago. Today people would have a fit (rightfully so) if a parent came half popped to a game and drove home with their kid!

  4. I feel like I am compensating rather than over-compensating. I want my children to have the opportunities I didn't have to enjoy out-of-school activities. On the other hand, I think it's important also for them to have some down-time with no activities scheduled, so I have restricted the number of out-of-school activities. In this way, they still enjoy going to these activities without them becoming a chore.

  5. Love your New blog. looks good:-) When I grew up in the 60s' we played outside and went everywhere on bikes. Because of today world,I guess there has to be other sponsored activities for the kids. Personally I do not let my daughter sign up for everything. We pick and choose,same as you. Have a nice day.

  6. Roz - Definitely, you don't want to "over schedule" kids. Then everyone gets frustrated and its no fun.

    Auntie E - Thank you! Yeah, we did have a lot of fun making up a neighborhood game of kickball or riding bikes. You know, even local softball/baseball leagues are dying out because everyone wants their kids to be in the more competitive travel leagues.

  7. Hey ... nice blog :) Adding it to my blogroll too