The Over OVER-Programming of our Kids

It’s that time of year again. Springtime in the city. Time where as moms, we try to figure out how we’re going to fit in all our kids’ activities into one week. It’s also time where my mommy friends take the phones and give me a ring to discuss, “What are the boys doing this spring? Hockey? Ice hockey? Street Hockey? 3-on-3 hockey? Swimming… private or in groups? Tennis… outdoors  or indoors? Soccer? Softball? When? Weekdays, weekends? With what friends? How old do they have to be to do hockey? Oh 3… too young… Oh that program… it’s closed. ” Holy shit, my head is spinning this morning! After all, if worrying were an Olympic sport, I’d take the gold for sure. ‘Member??

frazzled mom

Now, I’m all for programming our kids. After all, the school days are long, and especially at a school such as my son’s (where he learns three languages), it’s the gym time that suffers. Plus I truly think diving into a sport or hobby gives kids good self esteem, and something they can call their own and be proud of. The problem sometimes is US MOMS. I think we’ve taken it waaaay too  far. I have friends with kids in programs 5 DAYS A WEEK!! One mom I know has her daughter in piano, ballet, gymnastics twice a week and swimming all in 7 days, plus school till 4. Isn’t that a little MUCH? Now I’m definitely cutting us all some slack, because it’s easy to go overboard. And after all, we only want the very best for our kiddies, right? We want them to thrive. We want to expose them.

But over-programming our kids can sometimes lead to too much pressure and not enough down time (and a dent in your bank account)! Shouldn’t kids just be kids sometimes? I don’t know. But I decided this weekend that the boys will do 2 activities each per week in the spring. Come the days where it’s bright till almost 8 o’clock, they love playing hockey in the driveway with all the neighbors, and I don’t want to take that away from them. So, which activities to choose.  As it is, my husband already has my son registered in some very intensive hockey program with a scary Russian coach. My life is sometimes a skit right out of SNL! Decisions, decisions. I’m on the fence. For the second activity, do I go with softball again and the screaming insane parents, or swimming?

over-programming our kids

Aah swimming. Don’t ask, we practically “bought” our son his last swim badge. Well not really… but pretty close. By the end of the summer, he still hadn’t completed his badge, so we kinda did the EXPRESS TEST to graduate. **Wink wink.** Don’t judge– the pool was closing and the end of summer was drawing near. I like to call it the “Coles notes” of swim tests. And while we’re all pretty athletic in this family, swimming definitely ain’t one of  our strong sports.

So, tell me ladies, do you think we’re over-programming our kids? Are you guilty of it? Do you have any funny stories to share? If you’re a mom with young kids, certainly you have a crazy karate or wacky soccer story to share. Do tell!!

PS – It must really be Spring. My orchid by my kitchen window has started to bud again. I almost cried.

PPS – Let’s give the hot sexy multi-tasking mama of 4 (who has been incredibly supportive of me), Brooke Burke our full attention tonight as she co-hosts Dancing With The Stars on ABC, at 8PM, EST. Brooke, good luck and break a leg, girlfriend! I’ll be watching, as will my hubby, only he’ll be watching AND DREAMING! Oye.

brooke burke dwts

xoxEDxox

9 Comments
  1. I have countless stories of crazy screaming parents at tennis matches, and pee-wee baseball games. The fathers can sometimes get totally nuts you’re right. But yes we try and expose our kids to activities that will move their bodies and keep them healthy. But the whole process can be overdone by us parents. Great post.

  2. can totally relate. Loved this post. I myself am guilty of my fair share of screaming and acting like someone I would hate. Hahahah.

  3. Wow, I just wrote about this today on my blog and then came across this site and this post. If we take our kids everywhere and help them do everything, they’ll grow up to think they’re entitled to all of this.

    Kids should negotiate and work for what they want. If they want more than 1 extracurricular activity, then do some extra chores to earn a ride from their parents. If they don’t, then they’ll never learn what it takes to really “want it” and know what it takes to really pursue their passion.

    Kids also need to learn how to handle being bored. And it seems the more stuff they have the more boredom they experience. Less is more – a cliche for a reason!

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