Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How much is too much?

Children's after-school activities that is.

Right now, Itai has rollerblading once a week and a private English lesson once a week (since we live in a Hebrew-speaking country where he won't be taught English until 2nd or 3rd grade). In theory, we also have playgroup once a week, but with everyone's complicated schedules this year that's a bit hit or miss. I'm fine with this level of activity. He's got a few things, but also has time to play with friends or just chill out.

The thing is, he now wants to add a children's yoga class. He went to a trial class last night and really enjoyed it. On the one hand, I like the idea of yoga for him. Strength and flexibility, but combined with gentleness and restraint. It fits well with my underlying bleeding heart liberal hippy-dippy values. It's also right around the corner in the same studio where I hold LLL meetings.

But, when does "enough" become "too much"? For him? For me, who has to shlep him around? For Maya, who then gets dragged around to all of these things? They're all good, they're all beneficial, but are they all good and beneficial all together.

I'm not sure how I'm going to handle this. First, I think I'll find out whether he can drop the skating if he wants to, just to know whether that's an option. He does really like it though, and it's great for his coordination (he's not the world's most athletic child you might say). I'm planning on dropping the English as soon as he's got enough of a foundation to actually read, but he's definitely not there yet. And now there's yoga... He's already got a yoga activity in his afternoon program, but he's towards the higher end of the age range there so I think it's not as challenging/interesting for him. This class is from 5-8, so a good fit.

It would give me more one on one time with Maya, which is good, but it's in small enough blocks that it's hard to make good use out of it. Though, in another month or so the weather will be a lot nicer and we could spend that 45 minutes at the playground next door to the studio, or go out for an ice cream or whatever.

I've read a lot lately on how children are becoming consumers of activities, rather than active participants. I've never tended towards the overextended end of the scale, and don't want to find myself there through inertia, but at the same time without some kind of framework the tendency is for the kids to come home and want to do nothing but stare at the tv. Not exactly healthy there either, and no fun to fight about. (You'd think that "hey, let's bake cookies together" or "let's play a game together" or something like that would occasionally appeal more than watching the Festigal dvd for the 8,000th time, but somehow it rarely seems to.)

What to do. What to do.

I think I'm going to ignore the whole thing think it over for a few days, and then see if he's still even interested in the idea. How's that for good mothering - the ostrich approach. Why do today what you can ignore until tomorrow.

1 comment:

Kim said...

I think it becomes too much if it disrupts daily life. If he/you can handle it without it directly affecting school/home life then I say go for it! But my kids aren't involved in anything this winter so I might not be the best one to be handing out advice.