Feature: Parenting

10 Ways to Balance Sports and Family Life

Author: Craig Harkins
Published: October 05, 2012 at 10:17 am

Waiting to take the field.  Photo: Craig Harkins

With the beginning of the school year also comes participation in fall sports leagues and programs. That, plus the demands of business rolling into the 4th quarter, end of year projects, and getting ready for the cycle of holidays puts a strain on kids and their shuttle system, I mean parents!

With that in mind, and thinking of my own challenges in this area, here are a few ways to work navigating the complications of kids, sports, and family life.

"Balance" is something that we seek to achieve in one way or another. Many busy families find themselves struggling to achieve balance when there are so many needs, wants, and desires to accommodate. One area that many families find difficult is finding an appropriate balance between participation in sports and enjoying a thriving family life. Here are 10 ways that you can make changes in your routines to find more happiness together as a family.

1. Unstructured play is as important as organized play

Researchers agree that unstructured time is important to development. This is certainly the case in babies and toddlers, but is an important thing for older children to experience as well. By loading our children up with many structured activities, like sports, without any time left unprogrammed, we create children who don't know how to be bored. Some of our greatest thinkers had their "Eureka!" moments while ruminating alone, without bats or balls, music, iPods, or a smartphone.

2. Getting enough sleep is as important as eating a balanced diet.

In addition to making sure that your family is eating right, it is very important to be sure that everyone is getting enough sleep. Getting too little sleep affects memory, focus, and even weight. If participation in sports is robbing your children of valuable rest time, then it is important to make adjustments to your schedule. Rested families are happy families.

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Article Author: Craig Harkins

Craig Harkins started fencing in 1984 and since has competed at the local through international level. Craig was on site covering the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games for Fencing.Net.

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