If you’re anything like me, you want to give your child the best possible chance of being a successful, happy person. Most of us can probably recall being involved in some activity growing up, whether in school or not, such as sports, acting, singing or playing an instrument.We see the Olympic medalists, who started training as early as 3 or other professional athletes who are shown with a football or golf club in their hands at 4 years old. We hear of musicians who picked up the guitar or started playing the piano at the age of 2. And sometimes, as parents, we think we need to get our kids involved in something that early, just so they can be one of the few who make it big.
But how early is too early? I’ve been browsing some of the activities I can get my 2 1/2 -year-old involved in. So far, pretty much everything is offered to kids that age. I’ve seen tennis lessons, acting lessons, instrument and singing lessons, gymnastics coaching, T-ball teams, rodeo coaching and even golf lessons.
So how do I choose? And more importantly, how early should he start? I don’t want to be a pushy mom and have my child give up his childhood before it even starts (gymnasts come to mind, who as children, seem to spend every waking moment in the gym). And at 2 or 3 years old, do they even have the attention span or desire to be a participant? Or is it more for the parents’ satisfaction?
On the other hand, it also seems that getting kids involved early on may pave the way for them to crave being on sports teams in school or want to be first clarinet in the school band. They’ll know and want life outside the daily routine of home and school.
So I’d like to hear from parents on this. How early did you get your kids involved with activities? What made you decide to start them at that age?
Leave your comments here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.
I was reading a story today about how some states (not Oklahoma) are passing legislation to cut down on the number of unsolicited phone books that pile on residents’ door steps, clog landfills and generally just waste a lot of trees.
I get two or three such books each year. They go straight into the trash bin because like most folks, I generally look up information online. Plus I don’t have space near my phone to store the bulky books.
That got me thinking that maybe I should “repurpose” the paper in the books into craft supplies. Papier-mache, decoupage, even gift-wrapping came to mind.
It’d be cute to give an active golfer, for example, a box of golf balls wrapped in the phone book pages advertising sporting supply stores or golf vacations. Or to decoupage a frame for Grandma with the pages listing relatives’ phone numbers. (Could be handy too!) The paper also could be torn in strips, dunked in glue and wrapped around an inflated balloon. Once dry, it could be painted and filled with candy to make a pinata.
What ideas do you have? I’m always looking for ways to keep the kids occupied while saving money.
Comment here or e-mail me at email@example.com.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer
Not outside of course. It’s hot there! But in a tent in the middle of the living room.
My 5-year-old has been learning about camping at preschool, and so we thought it’d be fun to actually break out the tent stored in an unopened box in our attic.
Putting the thing together was fun for my husband because there were no directions. Bravely, he managed and we soon had a bigger-than-I-expected igloo-shaped domicile. My daughter collected an array of snacks for our “camping” trip and I turned on the Discovery Channel (the TV was right there) to find some scenery.
Despite the whirl of the ceiling fan, it was fun to imagine we were actually on a great adventure. Our dogs became “bears” prowling for snacks. We made fire-free S’mores with chocolate marshmallows and Ritz crackers.
But did we sleep there? Of course not, the floor is hard after all.
Next my daughter wants to go fishing. Maybe we’ll turn the bathtub into a “pond.” Do goldfish crackers float?
Susan”Scared of Mosquitoes” Simpson
Anyone who knows me know that I am a picture-taking fanatic. I always have my camcorder and digital camera with me wherever my son and I go. I take a bunch of pictures, upload them to my computer, then transfer a copy to my online photo albums to share them.
So I end up with a copy on my camera (which I am always afraid to erase for some reason), a copy on my computer, a copy online, a backup copy on CD and then eventually I order prints of all of them and if they’re lucky, someday they might make it into an actual photo album.
Does this sound a bit obsessive-compulsive to you? It does to me. But how do I break this habit? I always feel a tinge of guilt if a weekend goes by and I never get to organizing all those hundreds of photos, putting dates on them, putting them in albums. Then buying more albums. Then buying things to scrapbook with, but never getting around to doing it.
If I take less pictures, I may miss out on something remarkable and kick myself later. But if I’m constantly behind the lens of a camera, I feel I’m missing out on the actual experience. Which of the evils is worse?
After a good bout of guilt over a under-productive picture-sorting weekend, I always think to myself ”if I had spent all those hours organizing pictures all weekend, I would have missed out on capturing new memories.” So the guilt subsides, but the pictures multiply.
It’s a neverending dilemma.
Any suggestions? I would love to hear some.