Let’s Discuss “Sports Parenting”: The Mom Hour, Episode 18

Meagan has never identified as a “sports parent,” but this fall she has four kids in four different sports. Sarah is still learning to find the balance between protecting precious time at home and allowing her younger kids to explore different activities.

Listen to Episode 18 as we confess some of our (admittedly curmudgeonly) opinions on sports and activity parenting as well as some of the ways we’ve found to encourage our kids in their activities without letting go of our commitment to family time in the evenings.

Links we discussed in Episode 18:

How do sports and activities work in your house? Join the conversation by commenting below, or send us an email to hello@themomhour.com!


  1. As always I have comments before I even finish the podcast! Thank you for your encouragement. I had been on the fence about signing my son up for an after school sports class. It isn’t a team, just teaching the basics. The one he wanted (a combo of baseball, soccer, and basketball) is offered at another school in the district and starts 5 mins after school is dismissed (I called, it’s a safety thing..whatever!)

    So I sat him down and talked about our family values (spending time together) and said “flag football and basketball are offered at your school what one? It is also ok to skip it altogether” He picked football. So I don’t have to drive him ANYWHERE! AND it is only 6 weeks. Happy dance! We may experiment with him walking home or meeting half way.

    So thanks for encouraging me/giving me permission/reminding me to prioritize the family’s needs as a whole.

    • Dayna, this comment is so great! I am thankful our conversation had a real impact on your family this week. What an honor!

      Also, as I mentioned in the show, I’m such a huge fan of the after school programs because you don’t have to drive them anywhere (or drag siblings along) AND they tend to be short-term and affordable! My 2nd grader is going to try chess this session. 🙂

    • The after school activities are the best! I love them because they take much less family time than other activities.

  2. Loved the conversation today! I still only have a little one, so we are far from the age of acitvities. I am a coach though and I have to say I agree that it is so nice when kids start to take responsibility about asking questions. It is also so important that we all follow through on our commitments. It is so frustrating in team sports when parents commit their children and then decide they will not follow through the season. It jeopardizes the whole team when kids drop out and we barely have enough to play. It doesn’t allow kids to miss when they do have important family events and makes things more stressful. So please follow through once you sign up, I think it’s a good skill to teach your kids anyway. But I am going to step down from my soap box now and say I loved the show and just wanted to throw in my two cents.

    • Liz, that’s such a great point from the coach’s perspective. When we sign up for too much, or commit to things that our heart just isn’t in, it’s easy to flake. Especially at the young ages when kids need our help to get there and do all the things they’re supposed to do. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment!

      (And what do you mean – you don’t have your BABY signed up for competitive baby sports yet? 😉 KIDDING)

  3. Another coach here, wanting to out in my two cents.
    I agree with Liz – committing and finishing out a season is so important, although of course if there are big events, there is leeway for that.
    Regarding making the kids responsible – I ALWAYS insisted that the athletes communicate with me. They are on the tea, not their parents. Granted I was working with high schoolers, but I would text, email, etc. the players and not the parents. Just good life lessons for them to learn. I did always have a parent meeting at the beginning of the season to let the parents know that they were welcome to contact me, but that I would be mostly interacting with their child directly.
    Lastly, I did not allow parents at practice, so it is crazy to me to think that it would be “a thing” that parents do, and that you would be looked down upon if you don’t go! Unless you are helping out with your kids little league practice, I say stay home and let the child and coach so their thing. I’m with you, Megan!!

    Loved this episode and love the perspective as I now have my own little one to start figuring out how we will approach these things!

  4. Best podcast ever! In our town’s culture, we feel like our child will be “left behind” if we don’t put him in a travel sport vs. rec sport by age 9. It was so great to hear your perspectives and voices of reason. It’s hard not to get caught up in the craziness of competitive sports here. Thank you for helping to remind me to do what is best for my child and it will all work out.

  5. Thanks Sarah, love your discussion as always.

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