What if Your Kids Don’t Want to Participate in an Activity
Summer parenting in the 21st century for many families can resemble some sort of high-level full invasion of some kind. Nearly each waking minute can be tracked on the family calendar. While participating in extracurricular activities is advised, even expected in many circles, when these activities take over your family life, it might be time to take a step back and simplify.
Does little Callyn need basket weaving classes three times per week?
Sometimes, as parents, we feel pressured to make certain that our children are engaged and learning 24/7. This can create unrealistic expectations of our children as well as ourselves when we try to force some sort of educational value every second of the day.
Is this for you or for your kids?
Nothing wrong with athletics and club teams, but when the entire family’s schedule is dominated by the kids’ sports or activities, it might be time to step back. What would you do if your child came to you and said that they no longer wanted to participate in an activity, particularly one that you’ve invested a lot of time, and potentially thousands of dollars through the years?
Some studies have suggested that up to 25 percent of children are afraid to tell their parents that they no longer want to participate in an activity. As one would expect, most of the time, children give, as the primary reason that they don’t want to continue in an activity, is that they don’t want to seem ungrateful after all the time and money that their parents have invested.
Should you go on a break?
Did your mind go to the catch phrase of “Friends?” Mine did.
If you discover that your child wants to step away from their activities, you can approach it as a break, and put everything away and leave it untouched for either a set period of time or circle back when the new season, classes, etc. are getting ready to start. This was exactly what one of our favorite customers at Mini Safe Storage, a leader in self storage in San Leandro, CA did. When their child wanted to leave his soccer team after years, they brought all of his equipment and stored it with us. It was a huge shift for the family. After taking a season off, they found that their child really did want to play.
After the break
When these great folks came to collect all of the trophies, equipment, etc. from their San Leandro storage unit, we were so happy to have been able to step in and serve them during their “break.”