Why Kids’ Activities Stress Me Out


Why Kids’ Activities Stress Me Out Kids’ activities stress me out. Not the logistical piece of it. I know those make a lot of parents worry. How will we get there in time? What will we eat between driving and practice time? When will they get their homework done? Those are very normal concerns around activities — how to get it all done.

I worry about the what, not the how. What activities should we do? What can we fit into the schedule? What do they want to do and where do they have talents? What if they miss out on something? Along with those questions comes the overwhelm of deciding where to do the activities. There are so many options. How do I pick the best piano teacher or the best soccer club? Is it close to where I live? Will they have friends there?

Are we missing out?

It all bogs me down a bit which has me digging in and wondering about the pressure behind these activities for our children. It seems like everything starts so early and is so intense. There is a sense that if you aren’t doing all the things, you are missing out.

This past fall, my seven-year-old daughter tried baseball for the first time. It was very obvious that she was behind. I kept wondering how, at only seven, is she so behind? It made me feel like I had failed her. There are people in my daughter’s grade who do competitive, travel sports. They are gone on weekends traveling to compete in multiple games. I wonder if that is what we should be doing. Is that what needs to happen to give my child the chance to excel? Then I just worry and worry some more. What should we be doing for our childrens’ activities?

Here’s what I need to hear, and I’m wondering if some of you do, too: You have to do what is best for you, your kids, and your family. 

If you don’t have the time or money or resources to put into kids activities, that is ok. 

If you are choosing more time together as a family and less running around, that is ok. 

If your family places a value on sports, scouting, music, dance, or any other activity, that is ok.

If having a child doing a bunch of different things isn’t a value for your family, that is ok. 

If you want your kids to try out as many things as possible, as soon as possible, that’s ok.

Childhood is not a straight course. Your child is going to have opportunities to learn, discover, and find their place in this world. They will encounter people who adore them just as they are — whether they’ve been doing an activity since they were five or not — and those people will help bring out their gifts and talents. They will figure out what makes their heart sing. Maybe not this year. Maybe not in high school. But at some point they will figure it out.

Like with most parenting, there is not one way to navigate this challenge. When I’m struggling to make decisions about which activities my children will dive into, I get curious. I talk to my kiddos to understand what they like and don’t like about their current activities. I try to understand how they like to spend time. I also reflect on the values our family has established. Asking these questions allows me to pause and make sure that our decisions are congruent with my kids’ aspirations and our family values at this stage in life. It helps me feel like I’m doing the right thing for our family at this moment. 

How do you navigate this world full of access and opportunity? What works for your kids and your family? Share your stories in the comments!

Previous articleThe Ultimate Disney Park Bag
Next article2024 Knoxville Summer Camps
Megan Hughes
My family moved to Knoxville in the summer of 2022, and we are enjoying making it feel like home! We love the parks and greenways and have enjoyed visiting all the ice cream shops to find our favorites. (Current fav: Sugar Queen Creamery and UT Creamery). I enjoy college sports and spend a lot of time watching them in person and on TV. I also love words and stories, so you’ll find me with my nose in a book at any free moment. I truly value authentic and vulnerable conversations and I love to visit with new and old friends while we get a coffee (or hot chocolate in my case) and talk about the highs and lows of life.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here