If your family is like mine, at this time of year your social calendar is filled with end-of-school-year activities and events, retirement and graduation parties. And, is it me, but couldn't Grandma have picked a more convenient time of year to turn 80?
As if that isn't enough, youth sports seasons are winding down, which typically means more games being played because of rainouts, end-of-year parties, and -- if you're lucky enough (I sort of say that in jest) -- playoffs and all-star games!
It's hard enough for us parents to prioritize our own activities, imagine your 8-year-old daughter trying to figure out which is more important: Saturday's soccer game or her best friend's birthday party.
Sometimes parents aren't willing to let kids choose: "I paid good money for you to play soccer and you're playing. You can go to a party anytime." But seriously, aren't there more soccer games than parties in a year? My guess is yes.
There's no easy answer to this dilemma of how much to let your kid get involved in at this busy time of year. And usually it's about now when we kick ourselves for signing up our kids for so many things, thinking they'd be bored if we didn't.
Parents have to decide, ideally with their child's input, what the priorities are going to be. Is Grandma's birthday party more important than a game?
At this time of year, even we parents have to choose. Is a colleague's retirement party more important than your son's game? Should one neighbor's graduation party take precedence over another neighbor's graduation ceremony?
My point in all this is simple: Realize now there will be conflicts coming up during the next few weeks, and try to decide how you are going to handle them before the night of the big game.
Is the first thing scheduled on the calendar for that evening the priority? Or what if something more important -- maybe in your child's eyes only -- comes up?
All the things I mentioned that could become conflicts are fun events, and it's a shame you can't make all of them. But you can't. Accept that now, and make sure your kids understand, so you can smile when Grandma blows out the candles ... even if you'd much rather be at a game.
Contact Jon Buzby at JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.