There’s a lot of pressure these days to get kids into sports, clubs and after-school activities as early as possible. And why not? They’re great for teaching team dynamics, giving extra attention to an area your child might be especially interested and adding mileage to your vehicle as you drive all over town for practices and games.
Part of that pressure comes from wondering how each activity will benefit your kids, which skills they’ll learn and how those skills will shape their future.
But let’s be real. As the parent who pays the club dues, signs the liability waivers and is obviously a major influence over how your child spends their time, have you ever wondered what your kid’s extracurricular activities say about you?
Allow me to enlighten you.
FENCING: You were hoping this would entice your kid to stop clobbering you with plastic lightsabers.
COOKING CLUB: You’re tired of making dinner but can’t afford a personal chef.
SCIENCE CLUB: You are no longer able to answer your kid’s increasingly complicated “Why?” questions.
FOOTBALL: You’ve always been very proud of your ability to get out grass stains.
WRESTLING: You have absolutely nothing to do on Saturdays so spending eight hours watching your child compete for a total of six minutes is no big deal.
THEATER: You appreciate any opportunity to keep the drama outside your home.
SWIMMING: You’ll gladly endure day-long meets in a sauna-like natatorium if it means never having a pair of muddy cleats in your minivan.
GYMNASTICS: You remember Kerri Strug bravely limping through that vault like it was yesterday.
ICE HOCKEY: You figured, meh, you were probably going to have a ton of orthodontist bills anyway.
TRACK: You’re desperate for a way to wear your kids out so that they’ll actually go to sleep at bedtime.
ENGINEERING CLUB: You’re sick of your kid dismantling your Keurig to see how it works.
BASEBALL: You’d like someone else to referee the kids’ disagreements for a few hours a week.
MARCHING BAND: You love a parade.
SCOUTS: You’re a sucker for a badge and uniform.
CHEERLEADING: You have a very high tolerance for outside voices.
GOLF: This was the least injury-prone yet still scholarship-eligible sport you could think of.
LEGO ROBOTICS: You’d like some sort of educational payoff for all the foot injuries you’ve sustained through the years.
MARTIAL ARTS: You appreciate multitasking, and a sport that teaches discipline, the ability to defend yourself in a dark alley and an appreciation for cute colorful belts sounds like an efficient use of after-school time.
VOLLEYBALL: You wanted to support your child’s athleticism—while staying indoors.
BOWLING: You wanted to support your child’s athleticism while staying indoors and eating pizza.
SOCCER: You always wanted to be a Soccer Mom, and you couldn’t earn the title with any other sport.
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