January 11, 2011,
N.S. asks from Buffalo Grove, IL on January 11, 2011
How Much Time Does Your Kid Spend with Sports?
I'm curious as to how much time your child spends pursuing sports or other activities they are interested in and how old they are. We are getting flack from the family because our 9-year old does some competitive sports on the weekends during the winter and that means she can't spend time at grandma's house. (I know grandma could come support her at her competitions but she doesn't want to).
She has competitions 1-3 weekends a month (depending on the month) from October to June and she is in two different sports. The competitions are usually on Sundays (with a few on Saturdays) and are typically in the morning. We don't like her to spend the night somewhere else because she doesn't get enough sleep AND we have to pick her up and THEN drive to the competition. She practices 2 days a week.
My daughter LOVES what she does, and she is very good! We want to support her. Grandma says family first, so she should skip her competition and come stay with her for a weekend. The one sport is a team sport and she HAS to go-her team depends on her and cannot compete without her! The other is an individual sport so yes, she could skip one, however, I know she doesn't WANT to. She sees her teammates getting ready to compete and how could I tell her she HAS to go to grandma's instead? Especially when we're paying a lot of money for her lessons for the sole purpose of competitions during competition season.
She is free to spend many weekends with Grandma in the spring and summer. They always take her on vacation. I just thought if I got an idea of how much time other families are spending on sports I could show grandma that we're not so different. (Not that it will probably make much difference...)
J.D. answers from Chicago on January 11, 2011
I have 4 kids, and only 1 of them does year round sports. I have 1 in Hockey year round, and the other 2 boys play T-Ball/Baseball in the spring. My youngest is too young for anything right now. Spring is INSANELY busy for us, and I love it! I think Grandma needs to just get over it, and support your daughter in her activities....
Yes, family is important, but if she wants to see your daughter so bad, she should go and see her doing the things she loves!! I'm sure your daughter would LOVE to have Grandma there to support her!
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S.H. answers from Honolulu on January 11, 2011
It is not up to Grandma.
She is just being territorial.... and maybe per her generation of thinking.
You are the parents.
Your child ENJOYS what she is involved in.
That is fine.
She does NOT 'have to' spend the night at Grandma's.
That is not mandatory... nor a obligation.
Why have your daughter... having to be stuck in the MIDDLE of all this?
She is 9.
She should not have to feel.... 'guilty' about her Grandma's demands. That is not, a child's burden to bear.
YOU are the Parents.
Grandma... should be more supportive.
Frankly... of ALL my friends with kids, no matter what age.... NONE of those kids.... "have to" spend the weekend with their Grandma/Grandparents.... as a mandatory thing. Nor, against the wishes of that child.
Also, your daughter is a Tween. Tweens are from ages 9-12. Pre-Teen years. So their interests/lives/social lives changes... and your child should not be stuck in the middle.... of having to 'give up' something that she enjoys. AND... maybe be important for college later. Even extra-curricular activities.
all the best,
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S.H. answers from Spokane on January 11, 2011
Football season, for us, is by far the most demanding. Practice M, W and F for 2 hours with scrimmages/games on weekends. If G-ma wants to see the kids she comes to practice and plays with the little one and watches the older one practice and she comes to all the games. We would never expect (or allow ~ except for a very special occasion maybe) our children to miss sports or any other activity they enjoy doing b/c G-ma is so unflexible and demanding.
M.R. answers from Phoenix on January 11, 2011
Wow, what a guilt trip from Grandma...?? Why does she need so much alone time with your daughter anyway?
You daughter's athletics skills and involvement in competitive sports will provide life long skills and a competitive edge to applying to college one day. She might win a scholarship, attend a fantastic university with the tuition partially paid, she might become a coach late in life or go on to study sports medicine or physical therapy. I doubt Grandma knows the benefits nowadays to being committed to a sport.
My recommendation is that you express how sweet it is that she wants to spend time with your daughter, and then when you have mapped out your sports schedule, see if there is a night once a month that she could sleep over at Grandma's. What about school holiday's? Perhaps a Sunday night after you daughter's events when their is no school on Monday?
A.S. answers from Boca Raton on January 11, 2011
Basketball season - 10+ hours a week (more if a heavy game week). Football is even worse.
Karate - I'd guess at least 10 hours a week (my kid is going for his black belt - yay!).
I'm not a huge fan of how much time kids spend in sports. That being said, I would be resentful of Grandma's attitude (unless she just playfully offered it). Good gracious - it's your daughter's life, not hers. Not to mention - chances are that you are more than capable of monitoring how much is too much.
R.S. answers from Sacramento on January 11, 2011
I think Grandma needs to let your child and your family live YOUR life!!! If your child is fine with it, it works for your immediate family--mom, dad, children--and grades are not suffering, then it is up to you, not grandma.
A.R. answers from Dallas on January 11, 2011
I have two kids, 8 & 7. The 8 year old plays academy soccer; practices 2x a week and two games a weekend, plus tournaments. The 7 year old does dance, indoor soccer, and outdoor soccer. 1 dance class a week, 1 soccer practice a week (indoor & outdoor are the same team), 1-2 soccer games a weekend and a dance performance or competition every couple of months. The 8 year old also practices archery and competes in tournaments and the 7 year old rides horses.
My kids LOVE their extra-curricular activities and they work hard to keep their grades up so they can participate. Asking them to miss a game or competition to spend time with grandma when grandma refuses to come watch them wouldn't be fair to them - they've worked too hard. Sounds like grandma is being a little selfish to me.
D.K. answers from State College on January 11, 2011
I grew up doing competitive sports from about the same age on. I practice 2-3 days a week for three hours at that age and competed Sept-Dec or Jan-April depending on age and the level I was at. I would consider it normal. At the same time I did summer swimming, which was 5-6 days a week in the morning and then one week night each week for meets. My older brother did competitive year round swimming and had meets most weekends during season. Also when we played soccer it was every weekend during fall and spring.
We saw my grandparents a couple of times a year (they live out of state) and normally spent a week there in the summer and they came down for a week each year.