I am currently debating if my twins age 7, and my youngest age 4, should play organized sports. There are the different sports each child wants to play, the “bus” schedule of getting each child to their individual practices and the cost. How does a mother decide if she should put her child in organized sports or not?
My parents did not make me play any particular sport. I simply chose my activities based on my personal interest and that is what I want my children to do, but I am starting to understand budget and time issues when you have multiple children with different interests.
In my elementary school years, the neighborhood mob was my “organized” sport. All the kids in the neighborhood got together and we played kickball, went to the park or organized bike races around the block, but today the world is different apparently. Is it that parent’s feel safer to pay for their kids to play? Or do they think paying for their child to play a sport will make them a better athlete? I believe the purpose of having children play sport is for their enjoyment and developmental health.
There are great parent volunteer leagues and county programs, but I am starting to consider simply enjoying family fun in the backyard. Baby boot camp is what my husband and I have affectionately termed the family time after dinner whether indoors or out. We challenge the boys to races or different calisthenic and gymnastic skills. We also have days when my boys join in with my own training so we workout as a family.
I figure for now as long as my boys are getting in some general physical activity every day, it is not necessary to pay someone else to coach my kids in a sport that they are not really that interested until they are old enough to seriously be involved in an organized sport of their choosing. It also helps me avoid the “everyone gets a participation trophy” age and we don’t keep score games, but still allows them to develop their athletic skills.