Case Studies: Is my Pre-teen Overextended?

By Casey Benson April 5, 2013 10:00 AM
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Case Studies: Is my Pre-teen Overextended?

Dear Case,
My pre-teen daughter is very active in organized sports, playing both soccer and softball. Sports have really helped her to blossom and make friends, while teaching commitment. However, with school and athletics
, she is overwhelmed and overtired every week. She loves being on the teams and she still brings in good grades, but she is completely consumed with the teams. Every evening and weekend is spent preparing for games or tournaments or homework, and I worry about her just being a kid. Should I limit the amount of organized sports to let her have a life?
–Sports Cramp

Dear Sports,
Team sports have a wonderful effect on self esteem, fostering teamwork, sportsmanship and commitment. It’s great that your daughter loves her sports and is taking on so much responsibility. Your concerns are valid, as children should be able to be kids. However, she is making the effort to juggle both school and sports, so let her tell you her limits. Broach the subject sensitively, offering something like, “Honey, I know you love your teams, and I am very proud of your commitments, but I want to make sure you aren’t loaded down or feeling flustered”. Ultimately, education is more important than organized sports, so as long as her grades and spirits are up, she’s in it to win it.

Dear Case,
My husband and I have been married for just over 2 years and have a 16-month old child (you do the math). With very little time as newlyweds, we are over the moon with our small family and do not intend to have more children. However, everyone seems to have an opinion about our next family steps. We are forced to field questions on when we are going to have another baby by our family, friends, and even strangers. While my husband and I normally nod and say we are perfectly happy with the current situation, some people just don’t back down. How do I firmly (but politely) get them to butt out?
–Party of Three

Dear Party,
These naysayers may have good intentions, but their ninny chatter is unproductive. True -it’s none of their business, but perhaps they are just suggesting a larger family equals more joy. Family planning takes a lot of thought, discussion and foresight and is not determined easily. However, the size of your family is never up for debate. If pressed after a polite response, respond with “Thanks for the advice, we’ll see.” Short of expressing that it is none of their business, open-ended possibilities allow these advisors an outlet, and more importantly, leaves you unburdened with a plan for defense.

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