Balancing Youth Sports and Family Life
Raising sports active kids is difficult, perhaps more today than ever before. Parents feel pressure to help their kids succeed. They want to keep up with other parents in an increasingly winner-take-all society. Too often, parents just like you feel that if they don't do everything for their child, they are bad parents.
In fact, surveys show that today's sport active kids and their parents get too caught up in the crazy sports vortex. Today's parents spend eleven hours less a week with their teenagers than they did two decades ago. The average mother spends less than a half hour per day talking with her teens. Only six out of ten 15 and 16 year olds regularly eat dinner with their parents. Family vacations are down by 28 percent. Sports have replaced church on Sunday for many families. Children are being benched for missing practice to be with their families on religious holidays.
Surveys also show that your children most likely lament the lack of parental attention. They want to spend more time with you, not less. They want more free time, not less.
I sincerely believe it's time to reclaim our family time. Here's how you can find a balance between your children's youth sport activities and your family life.
My Top 6 Tips on Finding Balance Between Youth Sports & Family Life:
1. Schedule family time. Set aside one night a week or month as Family Game Night. Choose a board game, play card games, make tacos, and just be together. Make it sacred time.
2. Consider your travel time. Before you allow your children to play a particular sport, or on a particular team, consider your travel time to practices and games. Other things to consider include: your work schedule as well as your spouses, your children's school schedule and homework demands, carpool availability, and the needs of other family members.
3. Look for balanced sports programs. Look for leagues and clubs that balance sports, family and school life. Make sure the program emphasizes having fun more than winning. Children shouldn't be penalized for missing practice on Christmas Eve to be with their family.