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Forcing kids into activities

marynd
1 0
I have 3 kids, and we tend to not force them to participate in activities against their will. But today, my daughter tried to quit Girl Scouts, which she had just re-committed to attending this past Monday after changing schools (and thus giving her the chance to quit or join the troop at her new school). And the kids drag their feet at everything they initially agree to; or they don't want to do it at all in the first place. I remember wanting to do lots of stuff when I was a kid and not being able to. So-- when you were a kid, did your parents make you do stuff (soccer, piano, languages) and looking back, was that good or bad?
marynd (L4) posted Oct 15, 2008
88 views
15 Comments
Ziaahmad

marynd: Yeha!!.. my parents forced me into soccer practice, extra ciricular activities, etc.

I feel like they pushed me so hard.. that for YEARS later.. i did'nt want to do ANYTHING that i didn't have to..

ONLY RECENTLY!!.. have i decided to re attend school and take some extra circular classes.. so I dont know if that helped or hurted me.. but I think they had my best intentions at heart..

Ziaahmad (L5) posted Oct 15, 2008

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dvinegrace83

My mom forced me to do girl scouts. Once I started Junior High I begged and pleaded to get out. She got mad that I didn't want to do it anymore, but acquiesced. I'm glad she encouraged me to stay with it as long as I did because I got a lot of useful skills and good values from it. Plus it looks good on your resume saying you were a girlscout! lol

The other activities I wanted to do were martial arts and band. My mom and dad wouldn't pay for the martial arts, but they let me do band since it was free at school.

dvinegrace83 (L5) posted Oct 15, 2008

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tehk1w1

My parents forced me to do tons of things that I didn't want to, and I think it's a parent's job to do so.

If I had my way, I would've just sat on the couch all day.

tehk1w1 (L5) posted Oct 15, 2008

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BigJJ

I come from a family of giant men who were all football players, so my father had me in tackle football from the time I was 8 until I was 19. I played other sports too, but football was expected. After high school my only scholarship offers were D2 schools which disappointed him. I chose Northern Arizona University where I played well as a Freshman and sucked the next year. I decided to stop playing football for my father and joined the Marine Corps.

I don't push my kids to play any sports of do any activity they do not want to do. However, once they commit to it, they must see it through because a promise to a team cannot be broken. They've taken to basketball, flag football and some art classes.

By the way, I forbid them from playing tackle football until high school because it's too hard on young bodies and flag football teaches more fundamentals than tackle.

BigJJ (L5) posted Oct 15, 2008

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moose

I think you should try and lead kids towards activities they are interested in. If you believe they need exercise .. try to find something THEY like to do outdoors. If you think they need more social activities then maybe try to find clubs they will like. I never forced my boys to do anything .. I just tries to give them opportunities to do EVERYTHING and let them decide.

moose (L5) posted Oct 16, 2008

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Eve15

I like Bruce's advice. I always wanted to do a lot of things as a kid. My parents didn't want me doing anything, besides school. It took a lot of convincing from coaches and teachers for my parents to finally let me join sports. So I thought of making DD join a couple extracurricular activities, but I will provide her with options and let her choose what she wants to do. If she doesn't want to join sports, that's fine with me.

Why doesn't your daughter want to join? Having to make new friends or growing out of Girl's Scouts?

Eve15 (L5) posted Oct 16, 2008

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Loupgrru

I like the moose's advice too. My parents didn't make me join anything, but they never had to push me to go outside either. But I lived in small towns, and now I live in the big city. If I had a kid and pushed him/her outdoors but didn't direct him/her towards activities or at least talk to him/her about it, s/he might be pressured into joining gangs.

Different world, as many of us have said before.

Loupgrru (L3) posted Oct 16, 2008

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SMoRZ3

I was more like BigJJ. My parents never made me join any sports or activities, and they supported me if I wanted to do it. When I was younger me and my brother played soccer, and then we both grew out of it. I then in 5th grade wanted to join the orchestra. Turns out I didn't really like it, but my parents made me stay in it until the end of the year because I made a commitment and had to keep it. Then in sixth grade I switched to band which I did take a liking too and kept at it all through high school and joined the marching band. My senior year me and my friend also joined the JV tennis team just for fun, and once again my parents support was there.

Basically my parents supported me if they could and then made me keep my commitments. If I learned anything it was to keep my commitments especially if other people are depending on you.

SMoRZ3 (L4) posted Oct 17, 2008

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dvinegrace83

For those of you who joined a lot of rec activities, were your parents able to afford it easily, or did they have to work extra hard at their jobs just to finance your extracurriculars? I swear some of those activities can get so expensive!

dvinegrace83 (L5) posted Oct 17, 2008

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SMoRZ3

For the most part my parents didn't have to work to hard I suppose. I could barrow an instrument from the band, so we saved on the rental fee there. Tennis all that was need was the uniform, we already had the tennis racket. Marching band cost the most, I would say at least $400 for band camp and travel fees, plus the lunches if we had to bring our own somewhere. I wasn't in too many activities so it didn't add up to be to much financially. If it did become a burden I would have had to have contributed or would have had to cut back. I also was expected to do any fund raising that was available.

Obviously if it was going to strain there budget I would have either had to give it up, or something would have to give.

SMoRZ3 (L4) posted Oct 17, 2008

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hernandez848

I think its important to let your kids try out as many things as they reasonably can. For my daughter, if she wants to try a particular activity, I ask that she commits a specific amount of time. For example, if its a sport, she has to commit to the entire season...etc.

My daughter is in All-Star Cheerleader and it runs over 4k per year in tuition, fees, and travel, and my wife and I struggle to keep her in the program. The mentors are awesome, she absolutely loves it, and it keeps her in shape and enforces good health habits....so we sacrifice.

hernandez848 (L5) posted Oct 17, 2008

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betawaffles

Soccer, basketball, baseball, once I got some free will and realized that I didn't like it, I finally stopped going. I don't even like watching sports. Also band. But hey thats part of growing up get those kids out and about if they really don't like it, they'll cry or something in which case you will know.

betawaffles (L3) posted Oct 17, 2008

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Eve15

My parents didn't have to pay too much aside from my traveling expenses and shoes. My teams did a lot of fundraising and that helped tremendously especially for our plane tickets.

Eve15 (L5) posted Oct 17, 2008

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Loupgrru

Another take on this is that since schools are cutting band, art, and gym in a lot of places, it may be, just maybe, a parent's responsibility to expose children to all kinds of activities they wouldn't know about otherwise. The question is what the nature of that exposure is. I still agree that making kids do things they don't want to, outside of the whole commitment issue, is a bad idea.

Loupgrru (L3) posted Oct 19, 2008

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tehk1w1

American kids are growing up too sheltered as it is. Mandatory activity should be a necessity.

tehk1w1 (L5) posted Oct 19, 2008

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