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      12-26-2012, 09:50 PM   #7
First Lieutenant

Drives: 2007 BMW Z4 M roadster
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Minnesota

iTrader: (0)

My son is now 12. Since the age of 5 he has tried: karate, soccer, lacrosse, football, basketball, tennis, golf, swimming, a lawn mowing "business", snow shoveling business and he volunteers here and there. Some of this stuff he did for a few months, and other things - such as basketball - he's done for six years. A few years ago I finally took the advice of some more experienced dads...just chill out. They'll eventually find what they like.

As long as the kids are active in something (IMHO), you're in good shape. Odds are good that most of our kids will not be getting a D-1 scholarship, or go to the Olympics, so don't lose too much sleep over what activity they're in, or how well they do at it.

Two things my wife and I do with our two kids (boy: 12; girl: 14)...

1) They MUST be involved in something at least 9 months out of the year. We chill out in the summer to have flexibility to boat frequently and take a few road trips. But the rest of the year they need to participate in some kind of group "thing." Our daughter has never been into sports, so she did dance, piano and acting. Now that she's a freshman she's in four clubs, including student council and debate. So we tell our son that we don't care what he does either, but it needs to be something for 9 months.

2) We use subtle persuasion to "nudge" them in certain directions. E.g. my son is too tall and skinny - and a bit too laid back - to continue playing tackle football any longer. So when he was somewhat on the fence about it this last summer, we just talked about basketball more, asked his friends about their basketball plans, watched a few more games on ESPN, etc. Before you know it, he signs up for a 3-on-3 basketball league instead of caring about football. Perfect! It's gotta be easier persuading a 6 year old...right?!

They grow up fast, really fast, so just enjoy the ride and think about how you want your son treating his son some day. That thought process usually guides you to the right decision.