I miss the preschool years. With my younger two, just being a year apart, I was able to keep them in the same activities for years and years. Until they were 5 and 6 respectively, I had them to everything together.
It started with infant swim classes, my mom went with me so they could both participate. As they became toddlers, we went to Mommy & Me gymnastics classes. They did dance, music, soccer and even Tae Kwon Do.
I enrolled them in the same Mother’s Morning Out program at our church. And it wasn’t until I began to teach Princess to read earnestly that they began to separate a bit. (I needed Gymnast gone while I worked with her on sounds and letters.)
The Goal of Activities
There are several reasons for these activities:
- Get out of the house a bit. As a work from home mom, we did not socialize a great deal. Having a weekly activity was a great way for the kids and I to get out and around other kids their age and interact with other moms.
- Improve their gross motor skills. Dance, gymnastics, soccer, they all work a different motor skill.
- Develop character. Even if they never got good at a sport, they learned a ton of important life lessons. Taking turns, being supportive, handling disappointment to name a few. I could not find a better way to teach these lessons!
- Become well-rounded. I always thought trying everything would help them find their path. Saying you didn’t like something never flew in my house unless you had tried it. I even made them try food they didn’t like at least a dozen times before accepting it. (I saw some statistic that made this seem like the right plan.) When they started an activity, they had to commit to the session or a year. Quitting was never an option.
Time for them to Choose
Now that they are older, little has changed except that now they drive their choices. Due to costs and logistics, they are typically limited to one activity at a time. But they choose what they want to do.
They must still stick with their commitment…a session, a season or a year whichever the activity demands.
Princess has played basketball, volleyball, software and even completed her Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. In the end, volleyball is what won her heart and at 13 earned a spot on the high school varsity team.
Gymnast found his first passion at 5 years old when he was recruited to join a competitive gymnastics team. Now in his 7th year of gymnastics competition, he is now reconsidering his choice and trying football on for size.
Following their lead can be hard. But having set the stage early with boundaries and encouraging them to try what they wanted, I trust them and am happy to facilitate their desires.
Not that it’s always easy, especially on the wallet or logistically…but it is fun to watch them blossom and see them excel and find their passion.