Oh Baby: When it comes to kids' activities, parents say enough - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Oh Baby: When it comes to kids' activities, parents say enough already


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- It's pretty common for kids these days to be active with sports, and in some cases, it's downright intense, with travel and year-round games.

But not every parent supports the team when it comes to this level of competition, and a new trend is taking place with parents who are starting to say, "Enough already!"

Colleen Orme's three boys love sports-you name the game and they've played it. At one point, sports flooded her schedule.

"It was sports all the time, sometimes an hour way, some games if you were lucky 20 minutes away," she said.

As her boys were hitting the field, she was hitting a breaking point.

"For me it became a huge commitment, the sports, and as much as we loved it for me the struggle was the lack of balance," she said.

So she took her talented young athletes off the travel teams and stopped the year-round sports in exchange for more family time. People reacted strongly.
"It was shocking to me, the fallout. People would come up and say, 'Oh my goodness, you took your children out of sports, what were you thinking?'," she said.

Dr. Daniel Gould is with the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports. He says he's seeing more and more moms and dads like Colleen, jumping off the merry-go-round, so to speak.

"Some parents are becoming concerned that sports are becoming all-consuming for kids," Gould said.

He's the first to point out sports have serious benefits-physically, psychologically and socially. But he also sees some disadvantages with increased odds of injuries to the body and mind.

"Many times what happens is a kid loves an activity at first but due to the constant pressure over a long period of time they burn out. They no longer enjoy what they once loved," he said.

So, parents are taking some time out for another kind of fun.

"We're starting to see some parents pull back a little and say 'Hey, I don't want to commit to every weekend traveling all over the state or playing sports or practicing five times a week the whole year," he said.

Like Orme, many are not abandoning sports altogether. They're signing their kids up for the six-to-eight week programs and enjoying their extra time to spend with family.

How do the kids take it? In Orme's case, they hated it at first, but now seem to have scored a winner.

"It gives you more time to think about what's really important. As fun as sports are, there's so much more to life than just playing sports," son Tommy Orme said.

Another contributing factor to this trend is the cost of participation. Travel expenses add up and more and more parents are both working now and less available to make it to practice, games and out of town events.

Online Anchor: Sunny Layne


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