Mandatory Commitment

An old blogging buddy of mine, Aaron, made a post on parenting.  He did so very well, without having children of his own, and I appreciated his view outside of parenthood as he did so without “bashing” parents.  And, don’t you hate, when you decide to comment and basically write an entire blog post of your own, in their comment section, and then can’t figure out how to delete it or modify it and direct him here?  HAHAHAH! (sorry ’bout that.)

I decided to add to it and make it an official post:


I totally agree with the children being taught to follow through with their commitments and not quit early.  However, the personal experience I have, though, is getting my kids to follow-through on something we helped pick for them.

I don’t want to say “force,” but in a way, it is… because we found out “early on” that our kids would “choose” a sloth life – to stay at home and do nothing but watch t.v. and play video games. So they got “options” from us – Do you want to play soccer or baseball this Spring (or we might swing both) or try something new?- sports wasn’t an option of not playing, they needed to learn some skills so they weren’t “the kid” on the playground who didn’t know how to throw a ball, etc. Plus, I struggle with my weight and my husband grew up athletic because his dad was a PE Coach. It was a health thing too, and learning to be part of a team environment. We would ask if anything else interested them – but they had to be involved in something. And we encouraged NEW things for new experiences, and if they didn’t like that season, they wouldn’t have to do “that” again, but would have to choose something else.

So my son is now 14 and has done soccer, baseball, swimming (no option, here, both kids needed to learn swimming as in Southern CA, everyone has a pool, lakes, and Pacific Ocean – that was a safety thing) This was the first summer they weren’t on a team. Oh, and that lead to trying water polo, then football, and volleyball. We almost talked him into trying LaCrosse this Spring, but he wasn’t comfortable, so we didn’t sign him up because he’s going to be trying Track. (he couldn’t get on a soccer team right now- rec/school is out of season, and club already has full teams from the summer that go for a year)

Dad gave the kids the cardio option – You’re either swimming or running – because sadly sports practices no longer include cardio. Even soccer practices – there’s no conditioning of running! Both our kids die in a game that is a RACE to the ball. They need to be fit cardiovascular wise. Hence, “You’re either doing LaCrosse (because that does have running) or track and field, with an event in running, or you’re going back to swimming.”

So, Yes the commitment thing is important, but sometimes…you do have to kind of “force” the commitment to something or they will do nothing. They get an option or guidance on what that something might be…but it has to be something exercise wise and it’s up to them about music/arts.  And it’s a given, whatever they are doing, they must be reliable to their team/teacher through that season/session.

If you don’t get them trying new things, how are they to grow as an individual? I don’t want my son looking back sadly, in his last 2 years of high school, wondering “I should have tried Lacrosse. And now can’t get on the team because I have no skills.” – I’m worried this is going to happen.  But it was his decision. Just like Football.  He always wanted to try football – did- and liked okay, but quickly realized it hurt to get hit by big guys – and so now… he knows that’s not his sport. He won’t look back and “wonder.” He knows, nope, no football team for him. He starts high school next year and has a pretty good knowledge about what sports he wants to play.   His current item on the agenda, testing out this track and field thing in Middle school.  Because he knows, he has to do a sport each season, that’s not an option, but he does get to select what that commitment will be, and will not be missing practices or quitting the team.

4 Comments on “Mandatory Commitment

  1. You’re giving them an option to choose, on their own inclinations and likings. I don’t think that’s interference, rather it’s a sort of character building exercise. That’s my opinion..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. We’re not giving them the option to do “nothing,” but we are giving them the option of “something” to choose from…and commit to it…so yes, character building. My daughter just signed up for chorus again next year! So she ended up loving it. They don’t “love” everything, but then they don’t have to do it again – like my son won’t do football again. So, others may not agree, but in a world where obesity is a huge issue for children and diabetes…sports/physical fitness is important so our kids will always have to pick some physical activity and we’ll encourage other extracurriculars.

      Liked by 1 person

      • None. My mom never had $$ for any extracurricular or refused. I was lucky when I got school clothes and in high school, I had to get a job and buy my own clothes starting my junior year. I remember trying out for volleyball as a freshman and I had NO SKILLS, but I only did it to support my friend that wanted to try out and made the team. Then, I wanted to try out for Drill team – and I tried out, but my mom said I’d have to come up with the $200.00 for the uniform, etc. And I had to work, so I wouldn’t be able to do practices and if I wasn’t working, I couldn’t pay for it. I didn’t earn enough to pay for it anyway, and so I didn’t do well on the performance and basically didn’t make it – because I knew it wasn’t a real possibility. I didn’t want to do that to my kids. I made sure they had skills they needed to try out and do whatever they wanted. So, I basically worked as soon as it was legal for me age wise. I got a work permit and that was it. A job is a good thing and I will encourage my kids to do that too…but around sports and performances. They have plenty of time to work the rest of their lives.

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