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Conflicted about son's schedule


KG

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My son loves sports. And I love encouaging him, but feel I am being pushed too far.

 

He just finished 16 weeks of Saturday evening soccer, indoors. Which meant that every Saturday night, we leave, drive 30 minutes, stay for an hour, come home.

 

Now he's in Track, so I will be attending games, home and away, for the next 8 weeks, and getting him from school after practice, 4 days a week.

 

Today he says he wants to do Spring soccer, immediately after Track season.

Again, P/U after practice, but the games are on Sunday. I only really have that one day to relax, doing this on my own, I feel I deserve some "me" time.

 

Carpooling is not an option, and I know he'd be devestated if I missed his games, but I feel this is really too much for me. Not to mention the maintenance I have to do on my property, which is quite a bit.

 

Advice please?

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Back when I was growing up kids and teenagers had perhaps one or two activities throughout the year..the rest of the time they hung out with friends or did their own thing..cultivating their own interests. I don't know which decade it started but suddenly it became fashionable for children and teens to be enrolled in a million different things and parents were expected to run themselves ragged taking one kid here, another kid there...7 days a week....and children suddenly expected that whatever extracurricular activities they wanted to join, they would be allowed. My opinion is that children need to learn that they can't do everything and join everything. As a parent, particularly as a single parent, you need your own time as well and you also need to consider your health and burnout issues. Your son can survive without Spring Soccer..and perhaps he can help you with the home maintenance. Learning home maintenance is a good skill for him to know for when he becomes an adult and may have his own home one day..and it would be a great father-son bonding experience. Sure he may gripe about it now...but as an adult he may look back fondly on the time you spent together. There has to be a balance between sports and taking care of other things.

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This constant frenzy of 'scheduled' activities for children is a relatively new expectation that seems to have grown up in the competitive 'yuppie' cultures and got it's start in the last 20 years.

 

Kids used to have maybe one organized hobby/sport they did, and parents weren't expected to spend all their time chaffeuring kids between multiple kid-centric activities. Kids spent more time playing with their friends at their homes and doing other activities rather than organized things that required attendance on a set schedule.

 

I would let him choose one thing he really likes, the one he wants to do the most, then tell him that he doesn't have to attend every activity/party that exists, and that you have other things in life you need to attend to like home maintenance etc. There's a time and a place for sports and organized activities, but that doesn't mean your (or his) whole leisure time/weekends should be about that.

 

You need a balanced life, and so does he, and attending a slew of organized sports isn't required to be a good parent nor for his own development. He needs to focus on things other than sports as well.

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Personally - I would continue to encourage him....

 

It won't be long and he'll be gone and out of the house... sooner than you'll realize or be ready for... suddenly you will be longing for these days again.

 

I think kids involved in sports is a great thing... I encourage my son all the time. He is in the autistic spectrum and gravitates to video games and computers... I don't want him having a sedentary lifesytle. Too many kids these days suffer from childhood obesity and I want my son to have balance.

 

So long as his schoolwork is top notch then activities it is...

 

As busy adults with big time responsibilities we forget how much time teenagers actually have on their hands... fill it with sports... rather than video games, philandering, or worse drugs...

 

Hang in there... I know it can be overwhelming but like I said the day he leaves for college you'll wish you had more times like these!

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Why is carpooling not an option? Aren't there any other kids in the neighborhood and can't some arrangements with parents be made? Even if he has 1 nearby friend that plays with him, you guys could split the chauffeuring half half.

 

Other ideas: If he likes sports so much can he not bike there

 

If non of these are manageable, you need to set some limits to his activities explaining him the financial, time, energy constraints.

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the other problem you fall into with the constant scheduled activities is that kids don't learn how to structure their own time and activities. and they think they have to attend a group activity to be 'OK'.

 

Kids need some private time not scheduled with others to learn how to manage themselves and their own time/activities. they need to learn how to be self-directed, not just 'other' directed.

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couldn't he take the bus? why are you his chauffeur? he's 14, right? my mom never drove me anywhere growing up. it actually taught me responsibility. also, you don't have to be at all of his games. i think that's just unfair for you. these are HIS hobbies, therefore, it's HIS responsibility and he shouldn't expect them to become yours. you should have your own life and that he needs to accept that and NOT look at it as an abandonment sort of thing. a huge thing with single parent kids is that because the single parent tries to compensate, the kid end up feeling entitled to everything, regardless of what it means for the single parent.

 

i'm not trying to be judgmental or put your son down, just speaking as a single parent child myself.

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the other problem you fall into with the constant scheduled activities is that kids don't learn how to structure their own time and activities. and they think they have to attend a group activity to be 'OK'.

 

Kids need some private time not scheduled with others to learn how to manage themselves and their own time/activities. they need to learn how to be self-directed, not just 'other' directed.

 

 

I agree with this. As well, I assume there is a cost involved in all of these activities. I think kids need to learn that everything costs money and that they just can't spend money joining everything...they have to find some free activities...being with friends, playing soccer with a bunch of buddies in the park.

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Thanks all...

Firstly, there is no bus service, as this is not a school related sport, it's an invitational league. And it's too far for him to take his bike.

 

Carpooling is not an option. I've tried numerous times, it never works out.

 

HB...4 practices and 1 game per week.

 

I'm conflicted because he is starting to be the best defensive player on the team. And I know how much he loves it. But it's beginning to be non-stop.

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I don't think I would have made it without some carpooling operation. While it is important for him for you to be at his games, he's old enough (14 right) to understand that you won't be at everything, all the time. Talk to him man to man (they like that at that age), and explain that while you will still be there, you won't be at everything.

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