Wednesday, June 22, 2011

To play or not to play...that is the question?

Sean and I have been struggling with a few decisions regarding our kids as they get older.  Jocelyn is getting old enough to start participating in team sports.   We had decided early on that we didn’t feel that the team sport thing was something for our family.  We didn’t feel like spending our weeknights and weekends at a gym or ballpark, was the most productive thing for our kids. Obviously as our kids get older, and since we are their parents, we can change our mind at anytime.  Well we caved on our original decision.  We signed Jocelyn up for t-ball.  Ok…I was thinking T-ball.  Games are one day a week…it is t-ball…for 1st graders.  How hard can it be?  They will probably have practices right before the game…no big deal.  Well we were blessed to have a really great , dedicated, female coach… a coach who also has practices on another nights during the week.   Yikes…for t-ball alone and for only one child, this is a really big time commitment for our family.  Say good-bye to Saturdays….say good-bye to having any chance of going to Wednesday night bible study at our church because of practice.  I can’t even imagine if we had all four kids in baseball/softball at this time….say good bye of any chance of having a summer…or if we were in basketball  or another sport  with four kids…say good-bye to life as we know.  You get my drift.  Jocelyn is more aware of certain things than the others…she has already questioned why we can do such and such on Saturdays…unfortunately the answer is we have a t-ball game during that time.  So for the next season of sports I think we might be re-evaluating things.

So some questions you are asking in your head right now…..I have answered:

Well what if your kids really, really want to be in a team sport?

We have also realized that anything we ask Jocelyn, she will typically say…YES!  I want to do that.  So we could ask her if she wanted to join the Mumbo Jumbo ball league playing you know the mumbo jumbo sport and she would be so excited…only to find out she has no idea what mumbo jumbo is. (only kidding…mumbo jumbo is not a new sport…I was giving an example of how we can say anything and she will want to do it).  Anyways, if our kids are really, really, really wanting to play a sport we will examine it at the time.  We may not even start the other kids in any team leagues, because once you get hooked on winning and competition, sometimes it I hard to turn back.  

Don’t you want your kids to learn how to be a team player?  

Well sure we do.  But is sports the only way to learn how to be a team player?  Say you are on a basketball team.  Are you truly learning how to be a team player for your life?  No, you are learning how to be a basketball team player….how to throw the ball and work as a team to get the ball through the hoop.  Do most kids continue to play sports when after the graduate from high school or get married?  Wouldn’t it make sense to teach them how to work as a team within the family unit?  Teaching them how to work with siblings, parents, grandparents, or other family to get something accomplished like household chores, building things, home repair, taking care of the lawn, garden, learning how to work etc.  

Don’t you want your kids to be around other kids or adults since you are homeschooling?  

Our kids have plenty of opportunities to be around other kids through church and other family related activities.  To be honest with, no I really don’t want our kids to be around other kids or adults for an extended period of time that we don’t know.   Yes one day they will have a boss and they will have to listen to their boss, but we are talking about children…who aren’t at the level of making wise choices on their own.  I am not in any way saying our kids are perfect and well-behaved at all times…right now we are in the crucial child training years and if we are going to have any attempt at keeping them focused on what we are teaching, why turn them loose onto another adult or other kids? We attempted to let them play with a few neighborhood kids last summer...that didn't turn out so well.

Are you saying we shouldn’t play sports?

Um, no.  I am talking specifically about our family.  Not yours.  I am sure you have made the best possible decision for your own kids and your family dynamics.  If you want to spend most nights out and about watching games…that is your life.  I am kind of just venting…really to myself…thinking why on earth did I sign Jocelyn up for t-ball?

A little observation of my own….
This is just my own observation…nothing scientific.  My husband is also a boss to over 200 people.  He is having a really hard time hiring people that know how to WORK.  So let’s say that your child spends most of the day in school, then goes to an activity most nights of the week, then spends the extra little time doing homework…when on earth will they have time to learn how to actually WORK?   Add on top of that technology…tv…gaming…etc.  Just saying.  Ok our kids are young…and I am not expert, but looking at kids who are now graduated from high school that we know who spent their lives playing 3 different sports or who are addicted to technology type things….they don’t know how to WORK.   

I have probably offended someone with this post.  Sorry if I did.  Again, I am just rambling my own thoughts….for our family….not yours.  Don't get me wrong...their are exceptions to everything.

One last thing….I brought up this topic on Facebook and my sweet friend Rebecca recommended that I read the book “Parenting by the Book:  Biblical Wisdom for Raising your Child.” By John Rosemond.  I know not everyone is, or wants to, or even has any clue on how to raise their children according to what the bible has to say.  Rosemond does a great job looking at how children have changed since the 1950’s & 1960’s….changed for the worst.   He focuses on what the Bible says and then gives some great suggestions on how we can apply that in our own lives.  If you read one book..besides the Bible this summer….THIS IS A MUST READ.  A MUST.    Also, if you purchase this book off of Amazon…don’t trust the reviews.  It is quite evident that most of the “bad” reviewers did not read the book.  Rosemond is a psychologist by title, however he has been shunned by the psychology world of today because he doesn’t believe in their hobwash.  He is quiet comical in how he describes things.  I might write a separate post some day about this book.  I could go on!

And the moment you have been waiting for…pictures of Jocelyn from her first few games. will have to wait...blogger is having difficulties...I will post in a later post I guess!...sorry!


  1. Julie, I don't envy your position in trying to decide about sports for your kiddos. I know we will be there in a few years! My best advice is to do what is best for your family. There's danger in trying to provide a utopia for your kids at home (which I feel like I am guilty of sometimes), but it is also wise to protect their schedules and influences, too. Good luck with your decision and great things to think about in this post.

  2. I can not thank you enough for this post! My hubby and I are struggled BIG time on this issue. We have friends that think we are INSANE to not enroll our kids in every activity known to man. Our kids are younger then yours, but we are struggling on this and also making that huge decision whether to home school or not. I love love love your blog and this post was so helpful to me!! God bless you and your amazing family!