Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Children, Sports, And Balance

Almost every single week from six years of age to twenty years old, I had piano lessons.  I practiced faithfully even through college.  I never touch a piano anymore and I haven't for almost thirty years.  I was pretty good at it but I am not musical and it just never was that easy for me.  I tried gymnastics in high school but wasn't very good and didn't like it much.  I became a cheerleader in high school and absolutely loved it.

Alyssa started serious ballet when she was eleven years old.  She became a professional ballet dancer when she grew up and danced with Ballet Magnificat for nine years.

Ryan played baseball, basketball, and soccer.  He played baseball and basketball all through high school.  Now that he is all grown up with a family of his own, he golfs.  He loves to golf and he is very good at it.

Steven also played baseball, basketball, and soccer growing up.  He even played baseball through college.  Now that he is all grown up, he plays softball, basketball, and golfs.  He loves working out and staying active.

Cassi tried ballet for awhile but she wasn't too flexible.  She played basketball and soccer in high school.  She enjoyed both but they were definitely not her passion.  Her favorite thing is to go on long walks with friends or work out classes.

The one thing we would not have done if we did it over was competitive soccer for the boys.  All their friends were doing it so we thought they should.  It was very expensive, they traveled a lot, and there were games on Sundays which I did not like at all.

I think the key to children and extra-curricular activities is to find out what each child enjoys and what they are good at.  If they are musical, let them play an instrument.  If they are athletic, let them find a sport or sports they enjoy.  If they are highly intelligent, maybe they can be in a chess or debate club.

We enjoyed extra-curricular activities.  My children learned to be good losers and good winners.  They learned to work as a team and practice hard.  They learned to be under a tough coach and handle criticism.  They learned that life isn't always fair.

However, balance is important.  You don't want to be running all over the place all the time neglecting family dinners and time at home.  It is a difficult balance especially when they reach school age.  Some parents opt out completely and I don't blame them.  However, our greatest entertainment while our children were growing up was watching our children doing what they enjoyed.

Oh and they all enjoy wakeboarding, snowboarding, surfing {the boys}, bowling, games, etc!  The above picture is Steven having some fun with some friends.

Behold, what I have seen to be good 
and fitting is to eat and drink and 
find enjoyment in all the toil with 
which one toils under the sun 
the few days of his life that God has given him, 
for this is his lot.
Ecclesiastes 5:18