When my son started playing sports for the first time, it was supposed to be for fun, a way to make new friends and to keep him active. We recently had moved to New York, joining a local sports team seemed like the perfect way to make new friends. When he first started playing sports, he played in an inter-town soccer team. There were weekly practices and games on the weekend. The schedule was easy. There was no pressure. Then the unexpected happened. A travel team came knocking on our door recruiting my son for their team. We were excited it seemed like a big deal. Having no experience with travel teams, I ask a few questions received some basic answers. There were so many benefits compared to the negatives of making a move to a new team. Then we were off, quickly involved with a crazy overbooked training schedule and traveling all over Long Island for the games. My son has been playing travel soccer for 2 years now. He is currently on his second travel soccer team. I have learned to ask plenty of questions and to be involved in what is happening with the team. While the process has been exciting the last two years, he has been able to move on to a team with better opportunities that will benefit him in the future. Although it is great to be recruited it is important to weigh out the options and determine which one will provide you the results you are looking for.
The general daily schedule with kids can be a struggle besides school, homework, studying, afterschool activities and social time. If you have more then one child things can quickly become complicated, you’re not even factoring in that the adults need to accomplish their task as well. Trying to balance everything can be overwhelming and a huge toll. Which can cause unwanted stress and anxiety to everyone in the family. Being able to stay focused, balanced, and find time to rest in between can be a challenge.
Managing Their Time
I hear my son all the time tell me that he does not have time to do anything. He’s missing all of his tv shows, unbelievable right. He feels that his life is consumed by school, homework, studying and extracurricular activities. It’s important to take some time to set up a schedule with your child and help them organize their days. Let’s be honest, creating a schedule, listing priorities, and maintaining on task is even hard for adults. Imagine being a teen or tween and trying to balance everything out. They need help, and they need reminders to follow through with their plan. They have no idea on how to set priorities. Take time to sit down with your child, create a schedule for homework, time to study, hobbies, sports, and free time. Depending on the week this might change on a week to week basis based on the schedule. Once I did this with my son, he quickly noticed that he does have plenty downtime as long as he stays on task, and follows his schedule.
Limit The Sports Teams That The Child Plays In
While your child may be blessed with athletic talent. Being realistic is important. Focusing on one sport, improving and perfecting their skills can be challenging if they are splitting their time in between multiple sports.
Limit The Amount of After-School Clubs And Activities That They Join
With college in mind, being apart of school clubs and participating in school activities are great ways to build their college resumes. While so many clubs seem exciting, it’s important to pick one or two that will create the impact your child is looking for depending on what college they are interested in attending and the potential college major. Keep in mind that they have four years of high school to participate in school activities and join clubs, they can spread out their time within the four years.
Talk About The Financial Side Of Sports And Club Activities
As parents, we don’t talk about financials with our children. I can honestly remember never hearing my parents talk about money as a child. I had no concept of the cost of things. While some kids may appreciate things, when others don’t, they generally don’t realize how expensive sports and activities can be. Depending on what type of sports team your child is on the cost can quickly add up once they start traveling and sports dues increase. After school activities come with a price as well not just their time. Depending on what club the child is in the number of items needed to be donated or the club dues required add up as well. It is essential to teach your child about balancing time and money for the things that they are involved in.
These tips are lifelong lessons that will slowly build over time that will allow you to teach your child how to balance their time, manage money, and the way they commit their time.