How to Survive... Managing your Child’s Sport Schedules

By Nicole Chia 2019-12-09 14:14:56

You always told yourself you’d never be a “Soccer Mom”; that you’d never be a slave to your kid’s crazy, over-achieving sports schedules. Little did you know that a few years and kids later, not only are you a jersey wearing, card-carrying “Soccer Mom”, you’re also a “Ballet-Swimming-Rugby-Tennis-and-Kung Fu Mom”. Managing your kid’s busy timetables can be a full-time job in itself! So here is a guide to help you better manage your child’s sporting activities:

1) Create a calendar. Whiteboards and dry-wipe pens are your friends! Fill up the calendar spaces with all the activities, swim meets, practices, rehearsals and game days your children have coming up in the month, making sure that each child or fun activity has its own colour code. Once your month begins to look like a rainbow of word vomit, make sure that you try to schedule in time for snack breaks, catchups with your partner and most importantly sleep (usually only between shuffling children from one activity to another).

2) Don’t get overexcited about your child’s activities. Sure, you may think that your two-year-old is super athletic because they learned to roll over when they were three months old, but that doesn’t mean that little Tiffany needs to be in ballet, gymnastics, swimming and football. Managing one or two activities is definitely easier than managing seven. Besides, chances are little Tiffany would rather be in the playground eating sand from the sandbox than be forced to go to three different activities in one night. So instead, choose one sport for your kid and let them excel in that one activity. Even if that means that you spend 900 RMB on the cutest kung fu uniform that within a week she refuses to wear ever again because she’s two and wants to wear her unicorn costume from Halloween ALL THE TIME and never does kung fu again.

3) If you asked your child what kind of sports they’d like to do, they would probably choose everything or something ridiculous like ostrich riding that they saw at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park. Let your child pick their own activity, but make sure they don’t pick something that will take over everyone’s lives. Learn to say “NO” to your child, especially if any of their sports happen to fall on a weekend when you could be doing literally anything else. The last thing you want is to fall into the trap of 6am Saturday swim-meets or all-day football tournaments that take place on the other side of the city. Only make exceptions in the family schedule if your kid’s sporting events are in Singapore or Thailand where they need you to escort them because then your little pre-Olympian is worth it.

If you truly have a child that is obsessed with sports, then there is nothing better you can do than support them wholeheartedly. It’s scientifically proven that children who participate in sporting activities are better at teamwork, less likely to get involved in drugs and more likely to succeed; 95% of Fortune 500 executives competed in high school athletics. So yes, do it for your little sports-obsessed offspring, but mostly do it for the potential Ferrari that they’ll be buying you for being such a supportive parent, who managed all their schedules and made that fencing scholarship possible.