Monday, May 7, 2007

Raising an Underachiever

When I was growing up, I wasn't involved in a lot of activities. I was in a bowling league when I was about 7, I either played an instrument or did one sport per season through grade school, and I was involved in the Drama Department once I got into high school. As well as I can remember, none of the activities overlapped to the point where my mom and dad had to be 14 places at once. Since there was 6 of us kids, I'm sure there was some confusion sometimes, but I just don't remember things being as SCHEDULED as they are today.

I have a confession to make: Jake is not involved in anything either. Aside from going to preschool 2 days a week, there's not a whole lot else on his schedule. We don't have him enrolled in any classes at the rec center or anywhere else that offers "specialty classes"; no dance, no music, no art, no nothing. We do have him signed up for a few day camps over the summer, but that's more for my mental health than it is for any skill advancement on Jake's part. Heck, we don't even really have playdates very often.

And you want to know why? I'm lazy. Yep, that's it in a nutshell. I'm too lazy to get him involved in all those things. And really, I see no reason to. I really want to teach Jake (and someday, Emma) that you can still be happy and have fun and succeed in life if you do not do every class/activity/opportunity that is ever presented to you. And I know that there will eventually be a time when Jake truly wants to get involved in things, but we will not let him be involved in too many things at once.

And if he doesn't make the sports team when he's 7 or 8 because he didn't start playing when he was 4, then I guess he'll just have to be happy playing with us in the backyard. And I see nothing wrong with that!

6 reviews:

scribbit said...

I'm with you on this one, I don't believe in over-scheduling.

Here's to the underachievers :)

Kimberly said...

Today's underachievers are yesterday's average kids. And your average kid? Pretty darn happy!

Neil and I fully intend to support our kids and get them involved in whatever interests them. The key word being "them". Not "us". For me, that's the dividing line.

Sue said...

I too think that there is too much on kids' plates these days. I have a friend whose kids are ALWAYS in 2 sports at a time - all year long. Crazy. They never have a weekend w/o a game or practice on both days.

Kayla is in gymnastics and so is Alysa - but that's enough. And I wouldn't be doing it if they didn't love it. It's a way for them to burn off energy and hey - if they pick up some skills along the way great. But you won't see me at practices and games EVERY weekend - downtime is too important, as well a family time.

Zany Mama said...

I was a serious competitive gymnast from the age of 5 years old on, and now I'm a lazy underachieving mama, so I think I have some idea what it's like from both sides.

I'd go with the average, happy child any day.


(Also, I tagged you on my last post, and forgot to tell you. Because I'm totally fabulous.)

Little Foodie said...

Totally agree. So many of my friends children are doing things every day after school and at the weekend. What happened to being happy with your lot? A friend has a garden the size of a park, brimming with stuff to play in or on and her child is so used to going out that he gets grumpy when they stay home. The only thing my oldest does (he's 5) is drama to get his confidence up a little. If they want to do more stuff when older that's okay but not too much. Rant over... I can now breathe.

Military Mommy said...

Amen, sister. I couldn't agree more. I think kids learn more by digging in their backyards and "having" to play with their siblings than they do anyday in organized classes or playdates. And honestly, some of the kids we know - I just can't tolerate being around them for a playdate. *Rolling eyes*