4 Ways to Balance Kids’ Sports and Family Life

Balancing children’s sports schedules with an already busy family life and some much-needed down time is a challenge that many American families face every single day. If you have a sports-loving kid, you definitely don’t want to miss the opportunity of raising a potential superstar, but it is difficult to deal with the pressure that goes with the territory of managing an aggressive sports schedule. With so much going into assuring your child’s success on the field or court, it can become easy to neglect important things like family time. Here are 5 ways to reclaim your family life from your kids organized sports schedules and avoid physical and emotional burnout.

How to Balance Kids, Sports and Family Life
How to Balance Kids, Sports and Family Life
  1. Prioritize family time

    The time that you spend as a family unit should be sacred. Before allowing your child to sign up for a sport, consider the following and how important they are to your family:

    • School schedules and homework time
    • Travel time to games and practice sessions
    • Your work schedule
    • Availability of carpool
    • Family events you might have to sacrifice

    Ironically, weekends – the time you should spend with your family – are now chock full of sports activities. Make sure you set aside at least some time during the weekends to relax with your spouse and kids.

  2. Choose a family-friendly sports program

    A child who is benched for missing practice on Thanksgiving might be in the wrong sports program. Does your child’s club or league value fun as much as it does competitiveness? If it doesn’t, you might want to discuss maintaining a balance between sports and family life with the coaches and parents at the pre-season meet-up.

  3. Encourage a social life outside sports

    Too often, athletes and sportspeople only make friends with their teammates or other sports-oriented individuals. Members of select or travel teams often have to travel extensively or have year-round commitments that prevent them from socializing with their peers outside sports. This could lead a child to identifying himself only as an athlete, instead of the role being just a part of his or her overall persona. Encourage your child to make friends in school and the neighborhood and develop an interest in other non-sports activities.

  4. Allow for quiet time

    Let everyone in the family have some amount of free unstructured time when they can simply unwind, think, dream away or just do nothing at all. Ban all electronic gadgets during this time and let the kids run free, as you and your family spend some quality time together. While sports are important, having some amount of free time every day is equally important for your child to grow into an intelligent and productive adult.

The balancing act may be difficult at first, but it’s certainly worthwhile!

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