Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday Topics - Making Your Child Participate.

The only group things I've been in charge of are church activities so bear with me if you're a heathen not the church type. For this topic I can really only talk about my experience as a Sunday School teacher and a Vacation Bible School games leader.

I know that there was a child in my Sunday School class that didn't like me. I know because I overheard the child tell the parent this. I hold nothing against this child or the parent. I still love them both! Very much! However, this child hasn't been back to my class since then. That's OK, obviously that's not the type of thing we take attendance for or anything so there's absolutely no harm in this child not going.

When three weeks had gone by and the child hadn't been back I realized that maybe the parent didn't make her because the child didn't like me. To each their own. I'm not judging at all but it made me start thinking about if I'd let Gibbie stop doing something just because she didn't like one person.

For VBS I know of one child who apparently got in trouble on Monday and that was the last I saw of him. He wasn't in trouble with me but I did hear a volunteer saying he was acting up during snacks.

There are going to be a lot of people in her life that she's not going to like. I know this for a fact because there are a lot of people in my life I don't particularly care to be around. Don't worry, you're not one of them. So should I make Gibbie continue to do something regardless of how she feels about one person?

So then I started thinking about another thing I see a lot of. Parents forcing their child to do some kind of group activity that the child isn't interested in OR parents forcing their child to do EVERY group activity under the sun. The Hubs and I always said that as long as Gibbie did something extracurricular we'd be happy. For an example, we'll try dance and if after a while she decides she hates it then we'll move on to soccer. If she hates soccer then we'll try cheer (gulp). If she doesn't like cheer (yay) then we'll move on to an instrument. And on and on until she either finds something she likes or we force her to start the cycle over. Of course I'd never let her quit mid-season or mid-whatever it is. If she makes a year long commitment then she's stuck for the year.

As always I posed this question to my Facebook friends as well as my Tumblr followers and again got some wonderful answers. Just about ever comment I got was in agreement with me. I had one friend say that they would want it to be something their child could carry with them. She explained, "Making kids do tap dance or something always seemed silly to me because it's not an investment in a lifelong skill." She also mention asking someone once how long it took this person to like playing piano. It took him six years to love it! That's six years of wanting to quit and probably complaining to his parents every time he had to practice. Now, he loves it, and he's phenomenal.

Another friend who is a sports editor says it's obvious when a kid is only there because their parents want them to be and when a kid actually enjoys what he/she is doing.

If it was your child what would you do? I really want to know. I'm not one to judge parenting decisions (I was a formula feeder who after 15 months let my child cry it out and don't force her to eat veggies) so let it all out!

Here are some links to check out on the subject:

Why We Shouldn't Force Our Kids Into Sports

Extracurricular activities: Should kids be forced into them?

Before you go, here's a picture to lighten the mood:
Gibbie the Fly Hunter

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