Do Our Kids Really Need to Be Involved in Everything?

One of the reasons we become overwhelmed with busyness is because we have so many opportunities available to us as a couple, as children, and as a family. With so many choices clamoring for our involvement, it can be hard to set limits and live with them — especially when you love the options. Consider just one area of options—our children’s activities. When I (Patrick) grew up, we played backyard football, basketball in the driveway, and Wiffle ball in the street. Our “travel league” was riding our bikes around the neighborhood until we recruited enough kids to have two teams. It’s not like that today.

Children have far more sports and extracurricular activities available to them. When I first started in ministry, it was almost unheard of to have activities on a Wednesday night or Sunday. That’s just not the case anymore. There is no such thing as a day that is off-limits. The travel, schedule, and expenses of many activities increasingly demand more commitment from families.

Travel leagues, for example, have become increasingly popular — and pricey! (We thought braces were going to be the major expense!) A couple can spend thousands of dollars for just one child to play one sport, and this does not include gas, lodging, and food expenses. I (Patrick) nearly failed math in high school, but even I can crunch the numbers and figure out that’s a lot of money, especially if there are multiple children in the house.

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