By Laura Michels
Parents say they feel a lot of pressure to enroll their kids in sports
Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 4:59 p.m.
For parents these days, keeping up with the Jones’s isn’t just about what you have.
Parents say the pressure is enormous to enroll young kids in all kinds extra curricular activities — especially sports.
But the often huge time commitment that comes with it can tear at the seams of the one thing the parents are trying to protect in the first place: the family unit.
Dave and Mardell Wilson of Bloomington know all about the pressures of enrolling children in sports. They have two children: seven-year-old Jonah and 3-year-old Elliot.
Right now Jonah is at the age where he could be suiting up for everything.
“If we both didn’t work we could do something every day practically morning noon and night,” said Mardell Wilson.
Right now he’s playing baseball
“We have 3 baseball games this week and thats just one child and one sport,” said Mardell Wilson.
Dave Wilson remembers a different scene when he played sports as a kid.
“The camps that were available when I was young you could go to maybe one a summer now you can go to one a week for the entire summer,” said Dave Wilson.
But is there a cost to parents?
“Most of them live a bit like roommates where its divide and conquer,” said Licensed Clinical Social Worker Kim Keenan.
Keenan argues if parents devote all their time to bustling kids to different activities, instead of strengthening a marriage, it divides it.
“It’s so cumbersome and they are so stressed and so depleted at the end of the day they have no energy for each other,” said Keenan.
That can lead to the decay of the marriage and even divorce.
However, the Wilson’s have a game plan. They limit what sports their son can play and put their focus on being together.
“We are trying to set some limits now so as we face more opportunities for both kids we can figure out whats best for them and whats best for us as a family,”said Mardell Wilson.
So the game can be something that bond the family instead of breaks it.
Here are some tips to help you keep your marriage, kids and family, on the right track.
First, allow your kids to have downtime, boredom is good for children.
Don’t invest more in how your kids perform in sports than they do, and make sure you schedule daily time to connect with your spouse, time in which you talk about something other than kids.