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is this way too much for an 8 year old??

(315 Posts)
hugsarealwaysneededhere1 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:35:37

Son is learning guitar and vilion at school with some practise (not enough I'm sure) at home.
He goes to Cubs once a week
Fencing once a week.
Life Guarding once a week

At the weekend he has a swimming lesson and tennis.

He loves guitar, cubs and fencing. He is a good swimmer but now needs to stop lessons and either join the squad (train 3 times a week) or just swim once a week as part of a fun junior team. He would rather just play than swim seriously.

It all feels quite a lot! With homework too.......or is this just the norm??

hugsarealwaysneededhere1 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:37:01

Just to add, music teachers are always saying he needs to practise for 10 mins every day.........we cant........we try......

Sandbrook Tue 23-Feb-16 21:37:29

I think so yes. Most of mine have 2 sports in school and 1 hobby outside.
But if he likes all activities and is getting enough sleep I don't see the harm

Chippednailvarnish Tue 23-Feb-16 21:37:36

Depends on the child.
My DS is learning two instruments, three sports and two other activities. He thrives on it, but my DD wouldn't...

hugsarealwaysneededhere1 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:39:48

I'm starting to wonder if he would do better at these things if he was doing less or them!??

Chippednailvarnish Tue 23-Feb-16 21:40:35

Sorry just seen your comment about the practicing, could he fit it in before school?

caitlinohara Tue 23-Feb-16 21:42:20

We went through a stage like this but have cut back because although ds1 really enjoyed everything, it meant that he didn't really have any time that wasn't scheduled. It's not really sustainable in the long term in my experience.

Also - there is no point in wasting your money on music lessons if he doesn't do the practise. That needs to be made absolutely clear. If he doesn't practise, he doesn't get to do the lessons, end of.

hugsarealwaysneededhere1 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:49:20

caitlinohara like your style!

QueenofLouisiana Tue 23-Feb-16 21:55:03

DS is a competitive swimmer- don't go there unless he (and you) are really committed to it. It starts as 3 times a week, we are now on 5 sessions a week at the age of 10. It will go up when he goes to secondary school, but he is now dropping a session until after his SATs.

Apart from that he goes to Scouts and a music lesson. He has extra sports after school (part of their G&T provision). It's a lot.

ReallyTired Tue 23-Feb-16 21:56:12

Music lessons are a waste of money if your child does not practice and ten minutes a day is not a big ask. I suggest you ask your son which is his favourite instrument. Once he gets to a good standard in one instrument he can always pick up a second instrument quickly at a later date.

As far as swimming goes, being part of a fun team seems more appriopiate if he does not want to swim seriously. Is the life guarding related to swimming? I think you will need to cull his activites when he is older, but if you happy to pay for everything and do all the travelling then there shouldn't be a problem.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 23-Feb-16 21:57:50

Music lessons should be renamed parent torture - that you pay for - madness!!

Buckinbronco Tue 23-Feb-16 21:58:25

Sounds like you're giving him lots of lovely opportunities. He's a lucky boy!

FoolsAndJesters Tue 23-Feb-16 22:06:46

I felt tired just reading that. Some kids like it but it wasn't for our family. My kids are close in age so they just liked to hang out together.

I noticed that you wondered if he would be better at activities if he did fewer of them. I think enjoyment should be just as important. One of my DC loved football and despite being rubbish at it he continued playing it for years. He still plays five a side at university and he's still rubbish. He plays for fun and I admire the fact that he's been enthusiastic about something he didn't 'excell' at. Too many teens shy away from things they don't find easy. Sometimes I think there is too much emphasis on 'acheiving' something tangible such as certificates or medals rather than doing things for fun.

Inkymess Tue 23-Feb-16 22:07:53

Mine do tons but they thrive on it and love it all. Run with what works for you - we don't do any music lessons but I do get the points on practice or give up, unless you happy with very slow progress and he likes it lol

hugsarealwaysneededhere1 Tue 23-Feb-16 22:08:27

Buckinbronco that's very sweet of you to say, I'm not sure he'd agree though! Which is why I wonder of its too much.
Sallyhasleftthebuilding you are right!
QueenofLouisiana does you son love it though?? Has it helped him in any way?
ReallyTired why do you need to cull later on? Do you mean around exam times?

Haudyerwheesht Tue 23-Feb-16 22:10:31

I think it's a lot but it depends how he's coping and how it fits in with your life.

Ds has just turned 9. He has football training mon,wed and fri and a match every weekend. He also goes to Cubs once a week. Tbh this is too much and kind of resent there's only one night a week without something on. He gets exhausted too so sometimes he misses a night of training but he hates doing that....

tootsietoo Tue 23-Feb-16 22:10:51

Ask him if he wants to do the activities. If he does, keep doing them! If not, drop them. They work out in the end what they care about and what they're not interested in.

Ackvavit Tue 23-Feb-16 22:12:12

Yes it's too much, but modern parenting would disagree. My kids are grown up now but they did loads in the late 90/early 2000 years. Golf, tennis, ballet, gymnastics, rugby netball, brownies, guides, Cubs, blah blah. It was pretty obvious what they enjoyed. They stuck at those things

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 23-Feb-16 22:17:44

Drop one of the instruments. that will immediately halve practise time and take the pressure off a bit and it will make no difference to him at all. If he becomes more keen on music later on he can easily pick up another instrument, even self-teaching. I know a lot of musicians who were 'taught' in one instrument but can now play half a dozen to a good level.

LaurieMarlow Tue 23-Feb-16 22:19:06

I did that and more at eight. Loved it. Depends on him - if he's happy let him be. It's not about raising Olympic athletes. If he's getting something out of his activities, that's enough.

He should commit to the ten mins of practice though. It's not a lot.

DentistWimp Tue 23-Feb-16 22:19:41

My DD is taking Grade 7 violin. Believe me, even practice at that level never gets any easier on the ear. confused

deepdarkwood Tue 23-Feb-16 22:19:45

Hummm, I think it depends if he enjoys it, and still has enough time to 'be'.
DD (who is 9) does art club, gymnastics, choir, singing lesson, cubs, and a saturday mountain bike club ... and that's less than her brother did at her age! However, we have recently cut out violin lessons (& replaced with singing) as the practice was getting to be such a fight - it just didn't feel worth it. Whereas she will sing for England any day of the week ;-) And I allow drop outs on occasion -the point is to enjoy it!

Could he drop the violin and focus on guitar if he enjoys that more? I agree that unless you get the practice in, it's a bit pointless with instruments...

WhoaCadburys Tue 23-Feb-16 22:22:02

Does he want to do them and ask to do them? One of ours wants to do everything going and we [mostly] allow and support it. The other two want to do less and we don't push them to do more.

QueenofLouisiana Tue 23-Feb-16 22:22:16

Yes, he does love it- football lasted 4 weeks, karate 3 weeks, rugby continued for a season (he didn't want to go back after the summer).
He can be a bit whingy about getting up at 5.50am in winter- I can understand that!

However, he has developed determination, focus, a willingness to listen and resilience. He has a group of really good friends- girls and boys. His body image is positive and he understands that both practice and refining skills are vital.

On the downside, an hour's swimming needs 400 calories which need to be replaced. He swims for 7 1/2 hours and does circuit training for another hour. The food consumption can be enormous! The swim trunks become ever more expensive (ones I bought today were £85, they'll last 6 months), as do goggles etc.

DH and I spend a lot of time around pools- we're off to train in a 50m pool this weekend as he needs the experience before a new competition in 2 weeks time. Both of those trips are on top of normal training, they'll both take a full day with travelling. He's not even amazing (good, not stunning), that takes even more time.

maydancer Tue 23-Feb-16 22:27:36

I's probably be inclined to drop the swimming as he can already swim to a reasonable standard and isn't interested in taking it further.
I don't know if it is as much a case of him doing too much as the toll it takes on the family-especially if iot involves dragging siblings about.

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