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Are extra-curricular activities really that valuable to go to these lengths?

(16 Posts)
emkana Sat 11-Oct-08 21:48:38

I'm actually thinking about cutting down on the dds' activities

or would that be depriving them?

I just like having afternoons after school just staying at home, esp in the winter.

KatyMac Sat 11-Oct-08 21:50:56

DD did lots, it has sort of died down a bit now & she does one or two & has given up about 4

Habbibu Sat 11-Oct-08 21:51:41

Well, this put me right off them: "Sometimes it goes a bit off the scale and the balance isn't quite right when concerts are coming up and I have to revise for exams," says Miles. "But most of the time it's right. I despise children who just hang around doing nothing." Would rather that dd, when she hits 13, knows better than to "despise" people simply for not doing what she does. Clearly it doesn't make you a nicer person...

hambo Sat 11-Oct-08 21:56:39

I think if children are constantly given activities and told what to do to 'play' then they do not develop their own imaginitive play, which is really important later in life, (problem solving etc).

I think hanging out together in the sfternoons is a great thing to do and your children will still be learning skills...and you will not have to drive about in the cold grin

janeite Sat 11-Oct-08 21:58:45

I thought it was a really sad article actually. The fact that one child had to pretend she'd hurt herself to get a rest and that another looks forward all week to just chasing his friends around a carpark - it sounds like they are getting hardly any time at all to just relax and be children; hence the horrible attitude, as demonstrated in Habbibu's post.

MOrticiaAdams Sat 11-Oct-08 22:00:59

I think, at primary age anyway, its not necessary to do loads after school. They are such a short time little and once they get to secondary, you'll hardly see them! Spend as much time as possible with them now and like Hambo says, they need un-organised time to expand their imaginations.

roisin Sat 11-Oct-08 22:10:49

ds1's have never done more than 2 or 3 activities a week, and often only 1 or 2. I've always thought when they're a bit older there will be more need, or they'll have more energy to cope with it, or they'll be more enthusiastic about it, and it's just never happened.

ds1 is now at secondary so he has the opportunity to do all sorts of activities at lunchtime or after-school, so there's no ferrying around and it's all a lot easier.

It felt like a huge deal when we stopped swimming lessons and swimming club for ds1, but it makes life more relaxed.

Also for us, dh works on Sundays and some Saturdays. So free Saturdays are precious family time and I resent it if they are tied up with ferrying children to various activities.

pooka Sat 11-Oct-08 22:10:50

I felt tired just reading the article.

No way no way no way.

When do the children get "down time". Time to just mooch and chat and relax. I have fond memories of getting home from school at 4pm and, in the winter, getting straight into pyjamas and snuggling under a duvet on the sofa with my mum. Or when I was older, doing homework asap when I got home, so at 5pm I would have the pleasure of an evening of pottering ahead of me.

Nighbynight Sat 11-Oct-08 22:11:29

good god. Just reading the article made me lose the will to live.

thank god my children can amuse themselves.

Bramshott Sat 11-Oct-08 22:12:06

I agree that it's not good to fill up your children's time 100% and that time for free play is important.

But there are careers (music & sport for example) where you need to be actively training throughout your childhood and teenage years or it's simply too late, so if your child is talented in one of those areas then they will by default be very busy. If you want to go to music college at 18 for example, then you will need to achieve grade 8 on at least one instrument by 16 at the latest (as a generalisation) so that's a lot of work. Sport is similar I imagine - it's scary to realise how early it is too late to start.

pooka Sat 11-Oct-08 22:13:08

INcidentally, dd is 5 and she has a swimming lesson each week. For a little while there was an ace drop in ballet class that let children turn up in full princess costumes and dance to disney songs, so we occasionally took her to that on a saturday morning. But then they changed the structure to one where you paid in advance and was on a termly basis, so we dropped that because didn't want to be tied to every saturday morning.

Nighbynight Sat 11-Oct-08 22:13:23

yes, well I have sort of accepted that none of my children will be concert pianists or wimbledon finalists. It was very hardhmm

Habbibu Sat 11-Oct-08 22:18:33

Rebecca Adlington seems to rather prove you can do it, and yet not be a pompous arse. Watch and learn, young hothousees.

DontCallMeBaby Sat 11-Oct-08 22:18:49

Yikes. I've said to DH that we will NOT be looking for a gym class for DD in the near future cos she's only 4, does two after school classes already, and any further class would be another day of the week when she wouldn't be able to go to a friend's for tea, or have someone back here. Do those kids even get to eat with their own families at the same table at the same time, never mind have a friend back for tea?

Well my dd1 5 has Spanish class for an hour after school on a Thursday and goes swimming with her dad after school on a Friday. Thats quite enough for her otherwise in her words "I'd miss too much Tom and Jerry." grin Weekends are for visiting grandparents, going the park and making cakes.

I don't understand that many activities not only couldn't we afford them but when on earth would they get to be just kids - fighting playing with their siblings, watching telly, doing homework. DD2 (2) doesn't do anything yet not even go to nursery. shock wink

peanutbutterkid Tue 14-Oct-08 14:16:40

3 school-age DC here and they don't do a single out of school activity between them blush....

I would like to run around like those mad parents in the OP linked article, though, sigh, but DH wouldn't stand for it, DC are all far too lazy grin

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