Individual or Family Group?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Our kids are in different activities. They have different interests and we want to squash sibling competitiveness. Plus just as every child has a learning style I have noticed a serious difference in their fine art skills, motor skills, etc. This makes it difficult for me to place all the kiddos into just one thing. It would definitely be more convenient for my time and our budget if all the kids did the same thing though. Wow would it ever be….

I see some families around me with their kids all in the same thing. They all play piano, swim, soccer, basketball, etc. A lot of times I have noticed that some of the kids aren’t as skilled in the area they are all in as some of the others. Does this affect their relationships? Self esteem? Make them try harder or give up?

Coming from a small family and now raising a much larger family this is an issue I often wonder about. I don’t want my kids to miss out on their gift. I want them to have an opportunity to find a passion and really dig into it. I wish I had had that opportunity growing up too. Maybe I am just passing that dream on to my children? The thing is I don’t have a specific passion that *I* want them to go after. I sit back, watch them, study a bit and than look for different activities.

I do require that any activities we all finally land on has to be stuck with for a certain period of time before moving on to something else. So far my oldest two have been in activities for the last 3 years that they love! I love that!

Is there something you require all your kids to accomplish in extra fine art skills? A sport maybe? Do you put all of your kids in the same activity? Why or why not?


jen said...

Typically, my boys are not "joiners." They haven't wanted to be involved in any sports or extra-curriculars for several years. Now having said that, my oldest came home last night(!) and said he's going to do track and field with a friend at school. Just when I think I've got them figured out, they go and do something like that.

I guess that just means that it's been kind of easy for me in this area because my boys are much interested. I wanted them to be, that's for sure. Once I gave up trying to force them (which didn't work) we all became much happier.

Teri said...

I am visiting from the HHH. I agree with your post 100%, and have wondered many of those things myself.
We have 5 boys. Early on, when I saw how many activities other families opted to engage their children in, I knew that I had to make a decision.
I sat my children down, and explained that it was our choice to have a large family. That they would be entrusted with their own choices and families some day, but for right now, we were going to do whatever it took to keep the family dynamic safe and sound. For us, this involved everyone choosing A sport to pursue together, and music lessons, when they came along. It was a group decision involving their input. This decision was followed by a one year commitment to whatever they chose. That was 14 years, two-soon-to-be three black belts ago, and two more coming up in the ranks.
Do I say this to brag? Absolutely not! What I AM trying to illustrate here, is that working together as a family to set realistic expectations complete with "hows" and "whys" can clearly lead to great successes and mutual goals.
I recognize that we are all gifted with specific things. This is already too long...but I want to reassure that our children, as they have matured and grown older, have had many opportunities to follow those gifts and bents.
I am, however, ONE PERSON! I don't own a taxi, can't be more than one place at once, and knew that I had to acknowledge and honor my own limitations. I hope this helps someone when faced with similiar frustrations and pressures. ;0)

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