School is in, and Fall sports are in session. Are you ready for lots of take-out and taxi driving?
But how much is too much?
I want my kids to stay active and try new activities, but being super busy has its downsides. It often means late nights, a lot of time in the car, and fewer family meals.
So how do we discern when to say yes to an activity and when to say no?
Five Questions to ask before you say yes to more activities.
How will this benefit your child?
This is the easiest question, because if we are even considering a sport or elective then we know our child will benefit from the activity. Whether it’s being active, learning teamwork, or exploring an interest.
But then comes the harder questions.
How will adding more affect your family culture?
This is always the place to start. You are the manager of your home and the culture of your home.
What type of home do you want to have? Are you a creative person, adventurous, or sporty? And how do you want to encourage those things in your home? Then how will adding more affect these goals?
How many days a week is it okay NOT to have a family dinner at home? Or not to be the one tucking your kids in at night. In our home, the goal is a max of two. This goes for my husband and me also. Even as adults we have activities and interests we want to pursue, but again not at the expense of our family culture.
What are the top three priorities in your home, and how would this new thing add or take away from them?
Just like knowing your family culture, you need to know what comes first in your family. What if two activities collide and you have to pick one over the other?
Knowing how things stack up before you add something new is key to not stressing and scrambling when the schedules collide. And they will, but that leads us to the next question.
How long will our family be affected by this decision?
Will the new activity be for 6-8 weeks or for a longer time frame? Is a busy schedule of practices, classes, games, and performances sustainable for all members of the family?
Sometimes a hectic schedule is doable for a short season and can become a family event everyone looks forward to.
One year we had two of three kids in baseball. If you know anything about baseball, there are A LOT of games on top of practice. But two of our kids had an interest, so we made going to the baseball fields a family event. We did picnics, brought chalk, and other things to be intentional in our family during the busy season. Making baseball night family events made sure we didn’t lose the culture and support we wanted to grow in our family.
Side note- I miss that season….and baseball…..
These are things to consider when you are thinking of adding activities to your fall schedule.