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Old 09-26-2012, 08:20 AM
 
1,327 posts, read 2,690,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindy112 View Post
The same for me ... my 4th grader is currently enrolled in 3 classes of dance, fall softball, year-round swim and piano lessons. Driving home the other night, she mentioned that she would like to try tennis. I just laughed hysterically and asked her how she thinks that would be possible.
We solved some of this with summer camps, a week of tennis, a week of drama, a little hip hop etc. She gets her fix. Does strings at school, so far hasn't asked for lessons.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:09 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,045,591 times
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"I think it is also a myth that having a lot of after-school stuff is the difference in getting into college. I got accepted into a couple of big universities in HS despite a lackluster after-school resume (when compared to others) and a so-so GPA."

Actually, it's not a myth, at least with respect to competitive colleges. Having recently been through the college admission process with two kids, and being a faculty family, I can tell you that highly selective universities are overwhelmed with applications from kids with top (not so-so) grades and SAT scores. Applicants without significant other achievements will not get in.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:13 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 5,953,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifeman View Post
When I was growing up I did one activity at a time. All of my friends have their kids in several different things at once. Soccer, scouts, Karate, music class.

Why do we push our kids in all of these things. Does it really make them better rounded, confident etc?
or is it too much? I'm talking about elementary kids here. Do we as parents really believe that if we
push them that they will be come masters in their field?

What say ye Alpha Parents?
1) Lots of us did more than one activity at a time while we were growing up, even way back in the 60s.

2) Who says the parents are pushing the kids? Maybe kids are interested in more than one thing.

3) Yes, it can make them well-rounded, to sample a lot of different things.

4) Yes, it can make them confident if they go try something new rather than being afraid to try. And yes, it can make them confident to see that they can succeed at what they try. And yes, it can make them confident to try something and not be the best, or even not do well, but discover that they can continue it just for fun or quit, and the world doesn't come to an end.

5) Who said they need to become masters in their field? Who said the parents are pushing them? Can't they just do something because they think it's fun?

And frankly, I'd have the same type of reaction, but with different responses, if the orginal question had been "I did lots of activities growing up, what's with all these parents who limit their kids to one?" So don't take it personally, OP . It's just not valid to generalize everyone in one generation, or every child's personality, or every family's personality and choices. Do what suits your child AND your family. That might mean a lot or a little, and different levels for each child.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:30 PM
 
571 posts, read 989,436 times
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I agree that it's not a generational thing. There's always been kids that love doing lots of things. In high school, I remember kids who were involved in all kinds of sports and after-school clubs. I really, really wanted to, but my parents did not let me do any extra-curriculars (some of it was a cultural thing and some of it was not wanting to be bothered by having different pick-up times for myself and my brother).

At the moment, it seems like my kids are overscheduled, but it's because I have four kids and they each do some sort of scouting (girls/boys) and then a sport. Mu oldest is starting to log volunteer hours at a local museum, so that's another thing to keep track of. My kids also go to different schools - the logistics are crazy. It'd be nice if I lived in an more compact area, with these schools and practices not being so spread out.

But back to the point. I must say, I am shocked at how responsible they are with their schedules. They're responsible for gathering their practice stuff and telling me when and where they have to be. They are not hapless victims being chauffeured around. There's a lot of good that comes from all their activities. They ask to be involved and the minute they show a lack of effort or interest, they are done.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:07 PM
 
394 posts, read 600,777 times
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Default Just do it

Well said Yankee Fan. It's good to hear opposing feedback. Maybe I'm not pushing my kids hard enough.
Here is a great quote from Michelle Obama recently about her daughter wanting to quit tennis:


ďItís not about you being a good tennis player. Itís about teaching yourself to do something hard and getting better at it,Ē Michelle Obama said on the womenís website iVillage. ďBecause thatís what life is. Life is getting through stuff thatís hard and teaching yourself that you can do hard things and you get better at it.Ē
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:15 AM
 
5,121 posts, read 5,537,831 times
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My rule for my 3rd grade daughter is she can do two activities. She picks what she wants to do; the important thing is no more than two things. Oh, and she has to finish the activity until a natural end too (for example a sport "Season" or if it's a year long club, finish the year, etc). When she did Ti-Kwan-Do, we set a month for her to "review" and decide if she wanted to continue.

Even if I thought she could handle the on the go, go, go. I want her to do her best at school first--she does well in school and gets good grades, but there are things she needs to work on. And there seems to be at least an hour of homework a night to get though (reading for 20 mins, a math page, and spelling word homework). We get home at 5:30 and her bedtime is 8:30--somewhere in that time she needs an hour to do homework, time to eat dinner and help clean up, take a bath, and she just needs some unstructured "play time." Plus, when it comes to extra activities, I want her to focus on a few things and do them well instead of spreading them out. So she might only actually play a sport once a week, but on other days, she practices so she can improve. If there were other activities, there would be no time to practice. If she were older, this could easily change though--a high schooler is more independent and more responsible than an elementary school student. So I can see where an older student, who is organized, can do more than 2 activities.

But that is just my philosophy--other parents and kids have different outlooks and that is fine.

Also a major consideration: I want to keep activities in a reasonable budget (and stuff like kids sports isn't cheap--especially when they outgrown all that special gear). And *I* have to have time to take her to all these things. I am a single mom who works at a non-profit--so I have to keep a tight rein on spending and I have a tight schedule by default.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,555 posts, read 12,634,807 times
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Other parents have their kids do much more than we do. My general rule is one active activity - gymnastics, soccer, dance, etc. And I also want each kid to learn an instrument. In addition, we do scouts as I am one of the leaders. That is pretty much my limit for getting the kids all over the place. With those, we still have a fair amount of down time. We have friends who do an activity every single day after school. As a mom, I cannot handle that - it's a lot of dropping off and picking up. With three kids, it's also a lot of getting in and out of the car or waiting around on the siblings' part.

I try to pick activities that are easy like those offered right after school or swim team since my daughter can walk to the pool on her own (hooray!). We opted out of soccer this fall because the league here involves two days of practice and one game per week. One day of practice and one game is enough in my mind, and my kids don't seem to love it as much as other kids do. So they chose gymnastics instead this year, which is just once per week.

ETA: Yes, these activities are so expensive! Gymnastics is $69 per month. Piano is about $30 per lesson. Multiply that by 3 and it's like a mini-mortgage payment!
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:28 AM
 
394 posts, read 600,777 times
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What's up with an hour of homework? I hope my kids don't get overwhelmed by homework as they get older. Seems to me my kid goes to school all day so why can't they do their work at school. I don't bring my work home with me at the end of the day...I decompress or focus on something else.

Last edited by bmwguydc; 09-29-2012 at 04:49 PM.. Reason: No advertising. Signatures are not allowed on C-D.
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:47 AM
 
968 posts, read 1,442,382 times
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I was busy in high school and college with activities, part-time jobs, advanced classes, etc. As mentioned, some kids like it. My parents NEVER signed me up for anything I didn't want to do, and by the time high school rolled around, it was my choice what I wanted to sign up for, anyway.

That said, I didn't grow up in this area. I grew up in a small New England town. I have absolutely noticed that PARENTS in this area (obviously not all, but a noticeable portion) are super competitive about their kids. Everyone has to have the smartest, most athletic, most talented, most SOMETHING child...

I have a 6-month-old son. What he does as he grows up will be mostly up to him, balanced with what we can actually afford. I remember wanting to do gymnastics when I was very young, but my mother had to keep telling me no because we couldn't afford it, and the facility was too far away. Instruments, sports equipment, private lessons, classes...these things add up fast!
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,034,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybean720 View Post
IThat said, I didn't grow up in this area. I grew up in a small New England town. I have absolutely noticed that PARENTS in this area (obviously not all, but a noticeable portion) are super competitive about their kids. Everyone has to have the smartest, most athletic, most talented, most SOMETHING child...
Some of that is driven by college admissions and scholarships.
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