Sunday, January 11, 2009


I have a love/hate relationship with exercise. 'Tis the season for New Years' resolutions and all that, but I've never been very interested in that. There isn't anything special about the new year that makes it any easier to change. I do, however, have some goals that might be worth mentioning for the sake of accountability. I usually get to the YMCA 2-3 times a week, but I'm aiming to exercise at home or at the Y 4 times every week. I enjoy exercise. When I go to the Y, I usually spend 20-30 minutes on the elliptical (?) machine, 10-15 on the weight machines, then finish up on the treadmill for however much time I have left. Its just enough to feel healthy without actually helping me get any skinnier. The "Just-Enough" work-out plan. That's why even though, I enjoy exercise, I kind of hate it, also. So here's hoping this year I can do a little more and do a little better.
I'm also having a little bit of a dilemma with my kids. We just started a round of swim classes for the 3 oldest, and they also want to do dance, gymnastics, piano, and soccer. I'd love to put them in everything, but we don't have the time or money to do it all. Its probably not a unique challenge, but how do you decide what to participate in? I want to give my kids a chance to try new things and find out what they're good at, and I realize that there comes a point when it is socially difficult for kids to start new activities... but with 4 young kids, we simply can't do it all. I'm also a little worried that my kids will fall behind their peers as far as skills go (last summer Hannah refused to even try to ride her bike because she was embarrassed that she didn't know how to ride without training wheels already). Any thoughts?


Jess said...

We only have 2 kids and we struggle with the same stuff. My rule was always that the kids had to do swimming and then they could pick one other thing, but we gave swimming a rest when we bought the house and there is clamoring from the natives to start it again... I think that kids need to try stuff but the age matters less... I started skating when I was 12, it prevented me from reaching my olympic dreams... but it enriched my life and I eventually got over it. =) MY kids would love to be in something everyday of the week, but there is already to much going on, then when they get older they have youth activities... wahoo! Good luck, but the swimming + 1 rule had worked for us.

The Christoffersen Family said...

My parents required us all to take piano. I am so glad they did. That is a skill they will use in so many different aspects of their lives. Once we got to a certain point (pretty much when we could efficiantly read music and plunk out some hymns if necessary) they let us chose different private lessons to participate in instead if we wanted. Summers when we didn't have piano lessons, we would do dance, or swimming or gymnastics. I think kids can be way over scheduled, but I know Mickey feels cheated that his parents NEVER put them in any lessons of any sort even when he asked and knew they could afford it. It's all a balancing act I guess. So my opinion- do the piano. Even Rachael can learn so much from that skill. Then when other opportunities arise, they can start working on other activities.

DeAnn said...

Swimming is a good start. It's not something they have to do forever. Once they know how to basically swim they can be done. Natalie & Megan don't take lessons anymore--of course we had the pools in GA that really taught them to swim.
Gymnastics/dance are EXPENSIVE so I would avoid that! Unless there is a morning preschool class for Nathan who is not in school yet. That's what I wanted for Karen but then it turned into all 3 girls taking.
I would recommend soccer. It tends to be less expensive and it's great exercise.
Piano is very valuable. I would recommend waiting for Hannah. Natalie just started and it's been perfect. Age 7-8 is a good age. I plan to start Megan sometime next year when she's closer to 8 and Natalie has more of a head start. Then again, I may even wait an extra year since Natalie's doing fine even though I started her a year later than I originally wanted to.
Hope this helps. I totally understand what you are saying!

Heather said...

Hey Robyn! It's Heather Kinniburgh, formerly known as Boyle =) I am going on 5 kids in May and "feel your pain!" Don't fret! All kids will develop skills both acedemically and physically at their own pace. My eight year old did not learn ride her bike w/o training wheels until this last summer, but she started reading words independently at 3 and has 3 years of piano (taught by myself) under her belt! My 3 yr old son (currently) can count to 20by himself, but is scared to float on his back! All kids develop at their own God given time so don't fret, just love and encourage who they are today!

I would also agree that over scheduling kids can make them feel like they HAVE to be busy and entertained by "something" all the time. I homeschool my oldest girl for awhile and found that time off of scheduled events and lessons can be more burdensome for parents (at times), but develops a love for family and home life. We now LOVE to get out and do family activities (ie. hiking, biking, playing at a park, grocery shopping, etc.) and doing chores around the house are made easier too. My one year old even picks up after herself when working with one of her older siblings!

Take care, relax and all will be well =)