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She'sWrite: Getting Baby Ready for the Big Leagues

Want your daughter to be the next Serena Williams or Michelle Wie? You’re not alone. Many parents are enrolling their kids in sporting programs earlier and earlier, some as soon as four months of age. So how young is too young?

"I know I could be the next Pelé if only my parents would work on my dribbling technique."Some say there’s no such thing. Even if parents aren’t swinging for the bleachers of professional sports, they figure if it can help their kid get even the slightest edge over the competition, what’s the harm? No one wants their little Johnny to be picked last to join the team.

I think it’s great to introduce kids to all kinds of new things, but touting a technically correct way to hold a tennis racket to a 6-month-old is a bit much. The same with soccer programs for kids who can’t yet walk.

This is when people get too carried away in the parental push to give our kids the best and to be the best. Sporting programs for babies aren’t guaranteed to give your kids a head start and some doctors worry it could mean there will be even younger kids withoveruse injuries.

That being said I think organized sports are great, they get you physically active, help with socialization, self-discipline, confidence, etc. etc. Our 3 1/2-year-old Logan is in swimming lessons and last summer he went to a week long Chicago Fire soccer camp with his dad. He loved it so much we signed him up for Lil’ Kickers, another soccer program with classes this spring.

In these programs, there’s no pressure to grow up and bend it like Beckham. It’s organized chaos of flying mini soccer balls where the only goal is to have fun. And isn’t that supposed to be the point?

Go West readers: What age did your children get involved with sports programs? Do you feel like there is too much pressure too early? Or do you think there is only pressure if the parents create that kind of atmosphere?

She’sWrite is the pen name of a journalist who lives in the northwest suburbs with her endearing Norwegian husband. She usually commutes daily into the Loop, but she’s currently on a six-month maternity leave and is at home with her baby boy and 3-year-old son. Every Wednesday on Go West Young Mom, you’ll find her musings about being a mom, career woman, wife and friend, and the crazy juggling act in this curious circus that we call life. She publishes several times a week on her own blog, also called She'sWrite, and you can subscribe there to get email notifications of new posts.


She'sWrite: Finding a "Boo-riffic" Halloween Costume

“What are you going to be for Halloween?” Remember when we were in school and during this time of year that was the question du jour? I still smile fondly when thinking about my favorite childhood outfit. It was one of the “honkers” from Sesame Street. Honk! Honk!

Halloween can be such a fun time, especially if you love to dress up like I do. Now that I’m a mom, I love that I get to dress up my kid. For his first Halloween, he was a screaming pumpkin. I say screaming because he didn’t care too much for the outfit. For his second, he was a Bear, which was fitting because his nickname is LoganBear. (Though he still wasn’t wild about the costume.) Last year it was a dinosaur, which we both loved. Now it’s our fourth and he’s got a strong opinion.

I wondered, what is he going to be this year? I worried that the days of me choosing a cutesy outfit for my little guy were over. I wanted to dress him up as a sweet little bumblebee – you know, paint his nose black and everything. But he’s got a healthy obsession with Batman and Spiderman, so I figured he’d rather be a superhero.

Last weekend we ventured out to one of those seasonal Halloween stores. It wasn't until I was about 10 feet from the store’s door that I remembered how these places’ ghoul-factor can be over the top.

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