I thought I'd hop down off my soapbox about activities today with a final thought.
d. The Sunset Review. If you are from Texas, you will be familiar with this. The Sunset Commission was created to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies.
I love this from their website:
The Commission questions the need for each agency, looks for potential duplication of other public services or programs, and considers new and innovative changes to improve each agency's operations and activities....Every family needs to have its own Sunset Commission. Just like the government, sometimes we don't see our own waste, duplication or inefficiency. Instead of reviewing activities each season, we keep piling on more and more new ones. This is bad for all families, but particularly for those of us with lots of kids, this leads - quite quickly - to exponential schedule overload.
In most cases, agencies under Sunset review are AUTOMATICALLY abolished unless legislation is enacted to continue them.
Our family (despite all our careful planning) is not immune to this. Dennis has helped coach Libby-11's softball team for six years. It all started quite innocently when a bunch of kindergarten dads got together and thought it would be "fun" to coach their daughters. Fall and spring, without fail, Libby has played. She loved it, learned the sport, and became quite a good little first baseman. She would always tell you she considered softball to be "her sport."
Suddenly this summer, when presented the opportunity to play again in the fall, she fell apart. "I'm sick of softball!" What?? But it's your favorite sport! For weeks we discussed this, and the answer was always the same: "I just want a break!"
Then there was something under her breath about liking basketball better. What? And Dad isn't even the coach?
Alrighty then. Do we, because we have "always" done it (because she is good at it, because Dad is a coach, because she might "get behind" the other girls, or even because the team "needs" her...you get the idea) force our child to continue?
Or has the purpose of elementary rec-league softball been accomplished? Okay, let's see, what WAS the purpose, anyway? Was it to become a professional softball player? Or was it to learn the sport, to learn to play with a team...oh, and to HAVE FUN?
Perhaps the purpose was to discover that this isn't my child's favorite sport, after all?
Yep, it's hard to believe, but for the moment, softball - a "given" in our lives for six years - is being abolished after its Raising Five Family Sunset Review.
Okay, enough rambling.
How do y'all decide when an activity has served its purpose?
On looking like a circus act (Activities, Part 1)
On fear and being out of control (Activities, Part 2)