Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Boundaries for Children's Activities

pic taken from powerpoint clip art

When I watched my four-year-old daughter attempt to learn a cartwheel,  I enjoyed taking her to  gymnastics.  I loved the adult conversations with other moms.  We chitchatted about preschools, outings for kids, and what was for dinner.  For my daughter,  she played games with music, jumped on the trampoline, and learned a little gymnastics along the way.

One day I decided to watch my daughter from another room.  There were stairs that led to a whole other world.  A different crowd sat upstairs.  The moms of competitive gymnists.  They talked about the next meet, the lack of time for homework, and stress of cooking meals.  That day I told myself, "We will never do that."  In fact, I didn't want any of my three girls to be thrown into the competitve world in any sport.

But guess what.  Today my seven-year-old daughter is beginning a "competitive league" in gymnastics.  She will now practice two nights a week and compete with her teammates occasionally.  I had no idea a fun gymnastics class would introduce her to her passion.  She's very athletic and has excelled in any sport she's tried. My husband is sad she didn't pick soccer. He's coached her since she was three-years-old. And I would have loved to coach her in basketball.  But she's built like a gymnast.  However, should she compete just because she's talented, we have the money, and she loves it? 

This was my struggle last week.  How busy is too busy?  What are the boundaries for our family with children's activities? We've always had a "one sport rule," which has helped. But when we have three girls, even one sport each can be crazy!  Add piano lessons and church and I'm running children somewhere every day.

I know every family has to make their own boundaries.  How do you decide?  I asked God to help me answer this question, "Do I make a schedule and ask God to help me with it, or do I ask God to help make my schedule?"

You know you are too busy with children's activities (any schedule for that matter) when,

1)  There are more fast food wrappers in the mom-mobile trash than kleenexes.

2)   The kids have to pull dirty soccer socks from the laundry to wear to practice.

3)  The children ask to stay home.

4)  If you are married, you don't have time to "date" your spouse.

5)  If you are married, you only talk to your spouse about kids schedules.

6)  Your prayers with your children consist of protection, rest, and wins.

7)  You need a special calendar to remember all the activities.

8)  A homemade meal is a treat. 

9)  You spend more time in the car shuttling kids than cleaning your house and shopping for

10)  You didn't notice your child has outgrown their clothes.

You may or may not be able to relate to this list.  You may have stricter or more lenient standards. 

One day my children will be gone.  But they will remember our priorities.  How we spend our time, our money, and our words all reflect our priorities.  What will they say were our priorities?

Matthew 6:33  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 

Are you seeking God's priorities?
What is a good boundary for your family?

Linked to:  Cornerstone Confessions


  1. Wow a little gymnast!! :) We struggled with the time commitment more than any other thing about that sport. It's hard to argue with passion and ability, but I agree you need to set your boundaries and priorities now. Blessings and prayers to you in your adventure :)

  2. Thanks, Denise. I may ask to purchase an elliptical trainer to put upstairs in the gym so I can exercise while she practices :)

  3. Good points on ways to see if you're too busy. I think many of those hit home with a lot of ladies. Even if it is music lessons or a hobby, it is always good to keep our focus on serving the Lord first and foremost. Thanks for the healthy reminder!

    Visiting from Pint-sized Treasures

  4. Thank you for leaving a comment, Alison. May God continue to bless your blogging ministry.


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