Sunday, September 07, 2008

the stake conference recap and venting session

So I feel what we learned today in Stake Conference is pretty blog worthy. Elder Kies? I think I spelled his name right spoke today on how we are over scheduling our lives and how our "busyness" is replacing spiritual experiences and growth in families. The interesting thing is that these exact thoughts have been on my mind lately...and as a primary presidency we were discussing this topic just a couple weeks ago. ...

Now that school has started up again our scout program in the ward has almost crumbled. Parents believe it is more important for their sons to play football than to stay up on their scouting. It used to be manageable for kids to do both sports and scouts but now that sports are getting all freaky and carried away these days, kids are deciding to do something good instead of doing what is better...Have you thought of the Scout Motto lately? "On my honor I will do my best...To do my duty to God and my country..." in the long run I think I would regret pushing emphasis on some brown ball than a church sponsored program that teaches principles about serving God and the community- it only makes sense.

Here are some of my notes from Elder Kies talk:

*We are waxing cold in our relationships
*We text message and email instead of calling or visiting our friends and family.
*As a generation we don't like to communicate because supposedly we are too busy.
*we are over scheduling our children's lives. He said, "Over scheduling is prompted by the adversary"
*Mothers were not meant to be taxi drivers
*Gospel principles are rarely taught at a soccer game
*by scheduling so many good things we schedule out the Lord
*Being busy is fashionably cool, we aren't as interesting in the world's point of view when we say, "I have nothing planned for Tuesday night, just staying home with the family"
*make it a priority your children are home for family home evening and dinner time.
*make it a priority your youth attend mutual activities (we never called it mutual)

Those are just some of the things I wrote down today...of course having your children involved in things is good but he warned us to listen to the Holy Ghost...and to maybe let your children choose one thing to excel in instead of 3-4 things....but I just want to vent on my feelings about this subject:

Seriously the expectations for kids and sports these days make me kind of confused sometimes. Practices are getting longer, kids are starting earlier, parents are screaming more competitive insane crap from the sidelines, tournaments are always on Sundays now...and now your kids are supposed to be in camps all summer thank you. I have issues with sports- even as a high school athlete, I always promised myself I would never marry a man that would watch endless hours of sports on TV and especially Monday night football...I can't even begin to tell how many times I have thanked Chay for not being a TV sport junky. I couldn't handle it. A good game is fun to watch every now and then...but- to me sports teach some good things and it is good exercise and all but this huge push to be the best is just yucky to me- it is very western philosophy- but I won't go into that-

and what is up with this pre-school epidemic thing going on?- I mean we never had official pre-school growing up and I did just fine. My mom would teach us stuff and I remember Heather's mom, Pat, teaching us the Pledge of Allegiance as she waved this dinky 2 foot American flag but that was about it. Joette was so smart she skipped kindergarten- no pre-school for her either...sure kids like it but why push them away from home sooner than they have to? Maybe my mind will change...but I really don't feel like paying $50 bucks a month for something I can do with a couple other moms in the ward for free...a friend of mine is paying $100 a month for her child's pre-school. ouch!

and I was in Target the other day and I noticed "KinderMats" sleeping mats for kindergartners to sleep on- what???? It made me miss Kenzie just looking at them- just a couple years ago our school district turned kindergarten into full days...because there was such a high demand for it due to working mothers who couldn't work the schedule- What? My kid is not going to be sleeping on some hard floor when she can come home and do the same thing...I am already thinking of some alternative solutions...Chay is so patient with me- thank you Chay. I will figure this all out somehow and probably relax a little with time...

ok I am done. I am usually open minded but some things just don't go over all too smoothly with me-


The Checks Mix said...

April! I am sorry I have been a retard and have not kept up with you lately. We are head residents on campus now and it has been a slap in the face. Well, now that we got all the girls checked in for fall it is better. I love your notes from your stake conference. What a great reminder. Sometimes I get so excited about Haela doing all kinds of extra-curricular activities but it is good to remember--do NOT overbook. I love the country song "Let them be little" for that same reason. Oh, April, I am so sorry about your mom doing even worse. This roller coaster you have been on has got to be SO hard. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Marne said...

AMEN! I agree 100%. And not many people think this way either. That is what is so sad.

Sports are out of control. I can't even tell you how many people make me feel stupid because I don't have the boys in sports. Well, excuse me....for one thing, they don't want to. For another, I really don't have the time to be running everywhere. I suppose they make the time to do it, but like you said, I feel like there are more important things I want to teach my kids. Make time to simplfy. I always think about the talk from last conference from Elder Oaks, Good, Better, and Best. How do I want to fill my family's time? Braden excells in art and people think because I put him in art class makes him a wimp compared to football or something. Good grief.

And don't even get me started on the preschool thing...I am the only person I know (besides my friend Sherri) that is not putting my child in preschool. EVERYONE does it. Everything you said is right April...Preschool (especially when they are 3) is only a break for the moms. The kids don't really need it. Maybe socially it is good, but many of the smartest kids I know didn't go to preschool. I am doing a little preschool co-op with Logan with a few friends, and I am excited for that. $50 a month is CHEAP! Most of the ones around here are at least $150 a month, plus supplies. No way will I pay that...and paying for that is one expensive play date. Logan is so smart...he already knows how to read simple words, do some addition and stuff. Intellectually he is ready for K now. He learns from Braden and the homework he has to do. He would actually be bored in preschool he knows so much already.

And now to scouts....our ward is in the same situation. Parents are more concerned with how their child is doing in sports that getting their scouting requirements done. I am big on scouts...maybe it was how I was brought up...but I feel scouting is VERY important. The 10 year old boys in our ward play football 4x a week for 2 hours, plus one game a week. It is insane. When I was a cub scout den mother I was going nuts because the boys and the parents didn't take it seriously. I CAN'T WAIT for Braden to start cub scouts next month! The skills learned in scouting are so important. It is the same thing with parents now and the kids doing their assigned talks/scriptures in Primary. Don't even get me started on that....

Now that I wrote a novel...I need to get Braden to school! Sounds like you had a great stake conference. I love meetings like that. Have a great day!

Marne said...

I should add that I am not against sports, Braden did participate in tball and basketball 2 years ago. I'm sure both boys will be on a sports team again. But I will not let sports take over my life when they are so young. It is just not worth it to me.

Tiffani said...

Thank you for sharing part of your stake conference with us. I like how he spoke directly and to the point about over sheduling our lives and our families. I have to tell you that I put Vivian in preschool with one of her friends - (I have done two preschool co-ops in the past)it is more for social reasons. She misses everyone when they are at school so this gets her to mix with kids her own age - which has been hard for her without Olivia.

Each of my children have one activity. And just with one activity each it keeps me busy - however we still have Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings totally free of extra activities. Yes, it is out of control out there. Corbin is in piano - and his homework keeps him busy the rest of the night (he is now in a charter school).

As for scouts, I am with you guys. I am thankful that they got some new leaders that will actually focus on their requirements. It is frustrating to a mother when they just play around at scouts and never do anything out of the book. With good leaders, the boys can really learn and grow...and of course, parental support at home.

Tiffani said...

p.s. My name is spelled Tiffani not Tiffany - just thought I would let you know. :-)

Stephani said...

Thank you April, I couldn't agree more with everything you shared. I see my kids a lot through the week because I homeschool (and love it), but it can still feel like we never get enough family time, with Aaron in school and even just the weekly church activities for my girls...I don't know how people do it that have every weeknight full...I think I would definitely just be crazy (or crazier ;)...

Calie said...

Amen! period! end of story. Thank you for sharing your notes from your stake conference. We have also had the same council given. Up here sports are so pushed its crazy. Balance thats what I say! I love you April!

luvmy5boyscora said...

So, I really like the thoughts you shared from your Stake Conference. I do have a little different take on sports though. First of all, I have 4 boys and a husband who loves sports. Mainly football. We spend very little time watching football unless we are sitting at the actual game. But with all the energy you get from living with 5 boys, sports is a GREAT outlet to let off some of that energy!

Our 2 oldest boys who are old enough to be involved in sports, LOVE sports. I am fine with that. I don't feel like you should push sports on anyone, but hey if they want something to be passionate about in their growing up years, I think it is great. Everyone needs a passion. It helps form who you are. They are very athletic and it is good for them to be involved and have a passion for something in life. I figure that later on when they are older, I would rather have them playing sports after school than playing video games somewhere. We are naturally a competitive family. It is just part of who we are. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

I am also amazed at people who say parents are so bad at youth sporting events. Both towns my boys have been involved in sports have policies where if you are not acting in a sportsmanlike manner, you will be escorted from the event. I have never personally had to witness that, but my husband did have to escort someone from an event 1 time. I have seen so much encouragement, love and unity come from the bench and from parents. I have actually had tears come to my eyes as during 1 baseball game, the opposing team had a very handicapped child on their team, and our coach wouldn't stop pitching every time he got up until he hit the ball. It was so exciting for the child to hit the ball. He would try and try and try and then after 5 minutes, his dad would come out and help him, and then he would run the bases as best he could like he had just won a gold medal. After the game, the dad was so appreciative. These are the types of sporting experiences you can have. And if someone is stopping you from having a positive sporting experience, you have a right to do something about it.

A few other things we do as a family ...

I see to it that my son who is in scouts is passing off his requirements and involved with his program. Scouting is an excellent program.

We also eat dinner as a family most nights of the week. My husband is a school principal, and sometimes a meeting will get in the way, but we make it a goal to eat as a family.

I also make sure we have opportunities of "quiet, peaceful" time where there is soft, inspirational music, people are calm and using soft voices so in a world full of boys and energy, we can regroup and listen to the quiet and the feelings of the spirit.

I feel like we still are able to find time to fulfill our church callings, have people over who need friends, serve and help others and hold regular FHE and scripture study.

How do we do all of this? FAMILY COUNCIL! We have been having family council since we were married where we discuss our week, our comings and goings, what time to expect Josh home, etc. Dinner is at 5:30, unless Josh lets me know he will be home closer to 6 pm, and then I change dinner to 6. Being a stay at home mom, I feel like I keep up on the household responsibilities so that after school, I spend time with my kids, help with homework, and dinner prep flows smoothly because I use menus. We generally have a little family time at night even on the nights we have football practice.

Our family also thoroughly has a passion for WSU Cougar football games. Instead of my husband leaving us in the dust with me home to watch all the kiddos, we have made it a way to spend positive time as a family. We go to a few games together each year and enjoy each other and the things we get to do. It is a good way to get to know your kids, teach them, be with them, inspire them, love them. There are many different family hobbies you can have. This is just one of ours. My husband also always takes each boy to 1 game alone for some quality time with that son where things are talked about and life is discussed all over a non-threatening game of football.
I think these will prove to be precious in years to come.

I have always appreciated it that my family is not huge into watching T.V.-we do enjoy the occasional football or basketball game (who doesn't), but we also spend Saturdays cleaning the church, doing yardwork, helping neighbors, creating family memories, etc.

We are a highly productive family, involved with the church, in our community, love spending time as a family and love sports. It just takes a little planning, but I still feel like we are doing the best for us.

I think life is a balancing act. I am all for choosing the best for your family and in letting sports be a part of my families life, I still think we are on the right track.

Sorry to write such a book, but I don't think sports is totally wrong. I do enjoy your blog and the insights you have into life! :)

April said...

Coralee, Hi- Marne talks a great deal about you too- didn't you live in Post Falls? You are officially cool now. LOL- that great place makes great people....I miss my trees! I grew up on Post Falls Beach when I was little...and before it was illegal my friends and I would always go jumping off the cliffs when the damn was closed...oh the memories....

ok sports are great...and I can especially understand when you have a house full of boys- my brothers were always into motocross, snowboarding, 4 wheelers- so organized sports wasn't there thing- but it was mine. I was a huge athlete in high school and almost played college ball- but I tore my LCL my senior year in regionals and so I was kind of set back a little- but I think you are awesome for standing up for how much good sports does for you family. I love it when people disagree- I think I just don't focus on the positive and I have only noticed how out of hand parents were getting at my neices soccer dad was screaming the entire time at his 6 year old daughter...6! He then said, "Make me proud honey" I was ready to go tell him to shove it. My niece also was getting really discouraged and kept saying she wasn't good enough and I was so mad...what happened to being a kid and playing just for fun? so...I just wish we could all find a happy medium somehow...

Chay and I went to a Jazz game not too long ago and it was one of the funnest nights I have had in a long time. We were getting so into the game- we were acting almost silly- so sports are good. I just keep trying to prioritize and to remember what is good better and best- thanks Coralee- Which blog of yours do I click on- you have like a million blogs?