When my family commits to something, we stick at it. Through thick and thin. And, as regular readers know, the main thing we commit to is sport – with a bit of Scouts, Cubs and Rainbows thrown in for good measure.

I missed one dance lesson last year. There are plenty of people in my class who miss about half of the lessons a term. I’ve thought really hard and I can’t remember my daughter EVER missing a street dance lesson in over two years. She’s only been doing ballet since Easter so of course she’s never missed that.

To quote her, she’s missed Rainbows: ‘Once in Reception when I was sick, once in Year 1 when I was sick and for B2’s birthday’. That’s dedication and commitment.

When my eldest started playing rugby a couple of years ago, the then-coach, his best friend’s dad, said he didn’t need to attend every week – three weeks out of four should be fine. Well, we do attend every week with both boys.

My husband the football coach has an issue with boys who don’t turn up for training because they’re going to a birthday party or they’ve got family friends coming over. But as I said to him, not everyone places the same importance on sport as we do and not everyone sees it as the commitment we do. For the majority of parents and childre it is something they do most of the time, but they’re not going to change their plans or stop living their lives for football training.

This week, controversially, my younger son is missing rugby for a birthday party. It’s one of his best friends, so I feel it’s the right thing to do. I wouldn’t be so keen for him to miss it if it was just someone from his class he wasn’t particularly close to who’d invited the whole class.

But where we think it’s generally wrong to say ‘I can’t come to football (or rugby or Scouts) I’m going to a birthday party’ I think most people would consider us mad to say ‘I can’t go to the party, I’ve got a rugby match’.

So who’s right? Are we too committed? Should doing other stuff take priority over regular commitments, or should regular commitments take precedence over everything else?

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. If it works for you, I think it’s right. And of course your kids need to turn up each week – what are they going to do when they’re at work? Turn up when they feel like it?
    The thing we’ve always insisted on – and yep, sometimes it’s caused problems – is doing the best you’re capable of doing, whether it’s sport, exams or whatever. I really don’t mind if my children win or lose (which surprises me) but if they haven’t tried then I’m cross & disappointed.

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  2. It’s great to show commitment but everyone needs a time out. Hope your son has a fab time at the birthday party x.

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  3. Good topic. My husband is Scottish and we won’t miss anything we pay for! But as you say birthdays come up (those are important social occasions for kids) and family things too. I’d say do what feels right for you.

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  4. It is difficult to find a balance. I don’t like mine missing things as I think it is good for them to understand that if try commit to something, they should stick at it as they are letting people down other wise and when we start work we can’t just drop out when we want. Having said that, sometime other things crop up and it is unavoidable!

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  5. Thanks for your comments, everyone, I really appreciate them, because I think this is quite a tough one! I think we’ve probably got it about right (and looks like you all agree) – turn up as often as you can and try hard – and if you sometimes have to miss it, that’s OK too.

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  6. We too are people who dont start something unless we can commit to it. On the other hand, I do think it’s important to have a degree of flexibilty in your plans….eg super tiredness or events that can’t be avoided. I think if you’re taking up a space at An activity (they often have waiting lists) then you should commit or leave. Sometimes other people frustrate us because they dont have the same views as us….a tough tolerance lesson to learn!

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  7. Thanks very much, Suzanne. Glad we’re not the only ones! Husband particularly gets frustrated with people not turning up to football, but I said not everyone lives by our standards and people should be allowed a bit of freedom at the weekend, even if we choose to put sport (and Cubs, Scouts etc) first.

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