My daughter is about to be 9 years old next month, and this child is seriously so busy she has more things filled in my calendar than I do. She currently has 2 dance classes, pom team, garden club, drama club3 days a week and would like to add gymnastics, swimming and who knows what else but I told her no because the only days left in her week are Saturday and Sunday and she needs a little down time.
At first I was a little apprehensive about all these activities as I really don't want her burning herself out or becoming stressed at such a young age. But then I saw how much she enjoys each and everything she does and the amount of confidence she's gaining from her involvement in things like dance, drama, and pom.
Dance and cheer have been a part of her life since she was 4. She's been in 3 recitals multiple competitions and with each one she amazes me more. Her team has won most of the competitions but even when they haven't she took it better than I ever could have predicted and the sportsmanship I haven't seen adults with the kind of manners her and her team have displayed both when winning and losing.
I use to cringe when she would ask to join some new activity or when it was sign up time again, but now I've kind of started looking forward to it. Because even though it means more running around and double the work load for me and probably her as well the lessons she has walked away with are so worth it. Hell she's even been able to teach me a thing or two over the years. So as long as she continues to have fun, and her school and health are not affected by all the things she's involved in I will continue to support her in her choices.
In many ways I think that helping her to find these kind of passions early in life and supporting her pursuit of these dreams will keep her on the right path in the future. She will have reasons to stay out of trouble, and to choose a life without over indulgence. She is filling her life with things that have meaning to her now therefore won't be searching for that meaning later. I will never push her to do anything she doesn't want to do, but I will always encourage her not to give up just because something is difficult.
I do have one rule when it comes to anything she asks to join or participate in and that's once you start you have to finish. I want her to understand responsibility and commitment, I also want her to understand the concept of thinking over your choices before you make them. This rule makes her stop and really think about weather what she's starting is something she really wants to do or is it something she only maybe thinks she wants to possibly try because her friend is going to do it. So far this rule has worked well and we haven't had any real issues, it has made sure we really communicate. Hopefully this a foundation for the future when she hits her teen years. (keeping fingers crossed)
So while I'm pretty sure she's working her way towards being that girl that's on every page of the yearbook because there's not a club or team she's not on, I'll be that mom cheering her on, running her from practice, to practice, making sure she has everything she needs when she needs it, joining clubs to support her teams, fundraising, attending meetings, volunteering and all because well yea I'm that mom.