Jill Fay: Choosing the right extra curricular activities for your family | Moms

Guest Mom Monday: Jill Fay

Choosing extra curricular activities for the kiddos can be hard!

Summer break is almost to an end and my kiddos will be back in school and in full-time activities. Registration for these things seem to come earlier and earlier every year. At least that is how it feels to me.

Every year, as a family, we evaluate where we are at with our feelings on what we would like to try and do. Whatever we decide on is a family commitment.

My husband and I believe getting our children involved in activities outside of school is important but it can be very draining on our family physically and emotionally. It is time consuming, as well as very expensive. The time commitments seem to get longer and longer the older our children become.

My son is turning 11-years-old soon and he has played soccer, basketball, baseball, flag football, and BMX raced. He also enjoys riding his ATV’s and snowboarding. We have learned that letting our kids try new things is a good idea at a young age so as they get older they can choose which activity they would like to settle into as their sport, talent, or hobby.

I believe it is also very important to support our children in their passions and dreams – even if it is not what we are excited about. I grew up playing sports and did well at them. My parents coached a lot of my teams and I had always envisioned my kids being in love with sports as well. And honestly have also hoped for athletically skilled children.

My husband grew up never playing any sports, but was more of what I call an extreme athlete. Motorcycles, trucks, stereos, four wheelers, snowboarding, and dirt bikes are all his passions. Our children and I have experienced these activities with him and enjoy some of them.

My hubby and I are now discovering that each of our children has their own gig: their own talents and skills they want to tap into, explore, learn, and share.

We really want our children to pour their time and energy (as well as ours) into something they love and enjoy. With all the time and money we invest as a family together, experiencing these things with one another is important.

Our goal as parents is to support and care for our children according to their needs – not our own. It’s hard juggling these commitments. Children don't have to play sports, dance, or play instruments, but if they desire and show commitment, we should guide them in a healthy way to experience for themselves what talents and strengths God has placed inside of them.

Being a part of a team or learning a new hobby is great for preparing them for the real world when they become adults with careers and families of their own. It teaches discipline along with many other desirable traits for any job or commitment.

For families unable to commit time or money into these activities, there are many full and partial-tuition scholarships available and discounts for larger families. It is so amazing to see how our community opens doors for everyone to enjoy and experience these things. We are also blessed to know people who can help in some areas. As for time, look for help provided by friends and fellow teammates.

There are ways to encourage and support kiddos in their adventures without sacrificing too much. When the joy starts to feel sucked out of what we are doing, it may be time to re-evaluate why we are doing these things and if it’s healthy for our family in that time in our lives. One activity at a time is how we do things in our home. We try to anyway.

I encourage you to ask questions and let your kids be involved in what they would like to do. I sadly see parents living through their children while not knowingly putting a lot of pressure on their child and the poor child is miserable with what they are participating in. Many times children feel like they are not good enough and fall short to their parent’s approval.

Our children are opening our eyes to new things and bringing many wonderful people into our lives through their activities. We feel very blessed to have so many options in our community. We are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Fay family activities this upcoming year.


Jill Fay is married with two children. Jill is a guest blogger on Douglas County Moms.


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The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:20PM Published Aug 30, 2013 02:00PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.