Extra curricular activities (sports, music, etc) and your pre-teen/teen. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-23-2005, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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How much is too much?
How much practice/rehearsal/training is too much?
Where do you draw the line with regard to these things?

My 12yo DS has joined the local rec wrestling team. I suggested it to him and he agreed it might be fun. He seems to enjoy it while he's there (though he's not very good yet) but hardly ever works out at home like he's supposed to. The coach told the boys they're supposed to do push ups and sit ups at home to build up their strength and my DS can barely do one push up and doesn't seem to care too much. Most of the other boys are capable of much more physically. Wrestling is a hard sport and I'm afraid he won't be able to keep up.

Same thing goes for his private drum lessons. He practices, but only the bare minimum.

How would you handle this seeming lack of caring?

And don't get me started on the sedentary lifestyle of today's kids...
When I was 12, I could easily run a mile, do 20 pushups, etc... and so could most of my friends.

I have tried encouragement, but he makes excuses. My next step is to withdraw him from all activities until he can show an interest.
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#2 of 9 Old 11-25-2005, 12:39 PM
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My dd (16) is in 4-H, band, jazz band, piano lessons, American Rabbit Breeders, and soccer (9 out of 12 months).
She doesn't put the same effort into all of her extras but enjoys them all. My philosophy is that as long as she's having fun she doesn't have to be the best at all of them. The purpose is to keep her from "hanging out" , give her a sense of responsibility, and keep her active and managing her time.
My dh and I decided as long as she has a couple free days a week, that was enough for her "down" time.
Ds is 7 and he is in Tiger cubs and piano lessons. He plays soccer in Fall and Spring and t-ball in the summer. He is beginning to show rabbits and starting in Cloverbuds (4-H). Again, we try to make sure he has several free nights a week to do "nothing".

My dd friends who do NOTHING are always hanging out, they are lazy, some are smoking now, going to parties, riding around in cars, it's starting to become a disaster. dd used to complain that she couldn't hang out with them, now she says "you were right".
Hope this helps. It was kinda long!
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#3 of 9 Old 11-25-2005, 04:36 PM
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Right now my dd is in karate 2-3 days a week and dance 2 days a week. She (and ds) come with me to my job one evening a week, where there is no TV. As a family we usually run errands and shop another day of the week. Down time is important though and she does have a couple of days. She really only has Friday and Saturday to hang out but as she is on the outs with most the girls in her class, she mainly just hangs out with me. We go to museums, movies etc. Once basketball starts at her school, I am really hoping the friendships get rekindled. DD is only invovled in organized sports- no sandlot. She begged to take the flute but didn't practice. We talked. She said she hated flute and had no real interest in learning an instrument. At the time she was 10 and I knew better than to force her. Maybe if she had been younger but not at 10.

I hear ya on the kids of today not being able to do half the stuff we could! Both DD and DS would watch TV from morning to night if I let them. I know I let my kids watch enough TV as it is but at least I try to balance it out with reading and games in the house. It's sad, but I can't just let my kids run around the block. Just not safe I remember being gone from the house from sun up to sun down and only coming home to get food. Bad things still happened. We got in a lot of trouble but I was still never as free as I was then. All the good, all the bad- it's hard to say I would change a thing.
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#4 of 9 Old 11-26-2005, 01:24 PM
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my dd (12) is in ballet one night a week (3 hour class), tae kwon do 2 nights a week, scouts one night a week and piano lessons one night a week. she's fairly self motivated tho and we do homeschool so i think it makes it easier. you're right on about kids not being active these days!! i don't know how you can motivate anyone to do anything but is there anything he's really passionate about that you could enroll him in?

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#5 of 9 Old 11-26-2005, 04:03 PM
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I would find other activities other than push ups and sit-ups to build strength.

Push ups can be horrible on the shoulders.

Doing crunches on an exercise ball would be better for him. Plus it is more fun and builds more muscles and develops balance. We have a couple of them and the kids play on them. They do not realize the boy parts they are exercising especially when being supposedly sedentary. My son, doesn’t realize that he does sit ups/crunches while he plays his game. He likes to be on his back and I watch how he moves and realize he was working his mid-section. This was after if was complaining about his stomach hurting but not sick hurting. My HOH child has balance issues that have improved with trying to balance on the ball.

This is one area I am really just learning about but many exercises adults do are not good for children, well at least in the same form.

You want him to show interest you need to be interested. Turn off the computer and get active. It doesn't have to be in the sport he wants but when was the last time you took him to the YMCA for a swim? Swimming is a very good exercise for the total body.

Another issue is were is he developmentally in puberty. I work with scouts at this age. There physical abilities are greatly different. I have seen graceful boys turn into klutzes in a matter of an inch or two. His hormones are also at play. Also, why does he have to get good at this? Why can he not do this just for the fun of it. If he is having fun he will want to do things to help him improve. If he needs to do exercise at home maybe you need to help work out a schedule, first thing in the morn? Setting a timer and doing it after 30minutes of game play?

Also, I think what is negatively hurting our children is fear. Media has misplace were are fear should be.
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#6 of 9 Old 11-26-2005, 04:24 PM
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I used to have a "rule" of only 1 extra curricular at a time, now it's two--as the kids have gotten older and have varied interests.

I think as long as he's enjoying it and wants to continue with it, he should go at his own pace. There will come a time all too soon that it gets more competitive (NOT making the team, pressure from teammates, etc.) that will get them more motivated than mom "nagging" about it.
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#7 of 9 Old 11-30-2005, 09:02 PM
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Seems like there is such a prevalence of perpetual activity in these times. Sometimes one wonders, who is all of this "activity" intended to benefit, the child or the parents vicarious need. It seems, the first priority is what does the child want to do? Stand back, observe, think and ask the question..."is my child enjoying and thriving with all of this activity?" Are they maintaining in school and are they multi- or uni- dimensional in interest and time commitment? Are siblings or spouses being disadvantaged due to all the extra-curriculars? I certainly advocate children being involved and active. There is this dichotomy in our time of the overcommitted multi-activity involved child and family and the inactive videogame/computer kids. Balance is the key and the challenge to determine for all of us.
Hope this helps.
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#8 of 9 Old 12-01-2005, 03:10 AM
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Kayla has one extra curricular activity, TaeKownDo. She is a black belt, she even teaches. But its the only thing I can get her to do. She wants to be a reporter so I mentioned to her joinging th debate and speech team, she wont do it. I reccomended her joinging a vollenteer club, they do community services. She wont. I keep telling her if she joins stuff it will look awesome on her transcripts for college but she isnt listening, of course
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#9 of 9 Old 12-01-2005, 10:06 AM
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My 12 year old, Sabri, plays on two basketball teams and is training for her first 1/2 marathon which is next spring. She is very motivated because these are the things she loves and excels at.She was in a local childrens music program.She could care less, would not pratice her lines or solos and finally dropped out.
I also found if it was somethin gthe olde kids really loved, they gave it their all.If it was something I wanted them to do they could care less.
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