I’m not trying to be controversial here. I try never to mind other people’s business, especially in family matters. Each family gets to make their own choices. There are many opinions about how busy children should be. Kids have unlimited after-school opportunities.
When I was growing up (back in the stone age) we had plenty of choices, but nothing like today. As a child, I participated in piano lessons, girl scouts, and many church programs. In the summer, we took tennis lessons and swimming was a big part of the season. We also did chores in the garden, mowed grass, and washed cars.
When my children were little, we were faced with so many choices. My children played all the little-league sports: T-ball, soccer, basketball, and football. My daughter also participated in ballet, gymnastics, violin, piano, and voice lessons.
Because my children were five years apart in age, we didn’t have any overlapping schedules (most of the time). We let them pick one activity to do at a time. In this way, they could try all the fun sports at least once. Usually one of the activities fit well with their abilities. Then we could put more focus on what they loved most.
All these activities cost our family time and money, but it was worth it to us. I know other families who don’t participate in outside activities for various reasons. Sometimes, if the family is large, there is no way to work out the logistics involved in sports or dance lessons. Some families just can’t afford private lessons. Many large families have an advantage of size: they can form teams at home or play games together.
I’ve found that there are many activities for children and families that don’t cost any thing at all. My son absolutely loved a Young Adult book club at our local library. Most cities have free fun activities for children, through the Park and Rec departments. Churches also provide fun activities and opportunities for service.
Whatever you choose for your children is great, because all families are unique. Enjoy their young years, because they pass so very quickly.
@2013, copyright Lisa Ehrman