Most parents know that children can get very busy before you can blink. Depending on the family or child, there may be sports, music lessons, tutoring, volunteer work, church events, and more. Then, there are some kids who don’t have a wide variety of activities. Some may just do sports or just music. I think parents have to decide what is best for each child.
I was recently in a discussion with someone about a certain teen boy and their possible need for a job. This teen is a straight A student (that I know of) in the public high school. He plays every sport he can get into. He is a nice enough kid but he has had some major problems. Some think that having to be accountable to an employer and to have to work hard may be the answer for this kid.
I am not this teens parent so I am not sure what the answer is for him. For my own kids I would be looking at whether they were college minded or not. Are they going to get a sports scholarship? Would I want a job to be in the way of the scholarship?
Years ago I taught piano lessons to several children from one family. This household had 10 children and the father was home for two weeks and then gone for two weeks so the mother had to do it all when he was away. She had a rule in her house – you either play sports or go get a job. Her point was the being idle is bad for teens. They need to be doing something productive with their time. Don’t get me wrong – her kids had a lot of fun but they knew that they needed to be active and to be contributing to something, not just playing video games or watching tv. Today, what I know of this family, the kids have been to college, served missions for their church, made good choices in marriage partners and overall they stayed out of trouble.
For my kids it is different. We don’t have as much money as the family I mentioned above. And even when there is money to hire a gardener or whatever, we do it ourselves and the kids work as hard as I do. They LOVE the satisfaction as they look at our home and yard and see the result of what they learned how to do and worked hard to achieve. As I write this, they are taking my vacuum apart to fix a problem so they are having to learn how the machine works. They are so fun to listen to. I want them to be active in things and should they choose sports (which is what they love right now) I will support them. But here, at home, they will always have to do consistent hard work so they know what it takes to run a home and family.