"As adults, your kids are going to tell their therapists, 'Oh my parents never let me play piano,' or some other activity. It's going to happen. Being able to tolerate that is really important."
League sports for little kids?
Many of my kids' friends started soccer leagues at age 3. My wife and I asked ourselves: Do we want our boys to be the only ones without soccer skills? We want them to know they can do anything and to join the camaraderie.
But on top of their other activities, our kids have religious education one weekend morning. Soccer would mean not a single morning all week to relax at home, unstructured.
A great dad I know, a personal trainer (full disclosure: mine) who works regularly with teen athletes, is vehemently against kids entering sports leagues before they're about age 11 or 12.
Adults are "trying to instill grown-up values and competitive nature on a kid, and they're nowhere near that yet," said Robert Stephens. "They're trying to make them into world champions. That's nuts!"
Stephens, who along with his wife raised two boys, wants kids to start playing neighborhood pickup games again.
"It teaches them how to regulate themselves, make up rules," and fix problems, he said.
But these days, that rarely happens. And as CNN has reported, league sports are helping fill a vacuum and keep many kids active.
In a Facebook discussion, some parents said their kids' sports leagues are mostly about having fun.
Dawn Ladd said her 6-year-old daughter's soccer league is "organized, but obviously not competitive."
Still, many parents say leagues aren't right for their little ones.
"We tried... and it was awful. What 4-year-old is ready?" asks Christina Comstock. She now limits her son's activities to scouts and karate. #kids
Many parents wrote that two activities at a time is their maximum. But others have seen their children thrive on busy schedules.
My colleague Jo Parker's two children have done ballet for years. Her 12-year-old daughter goes five days a week. Cutting back might make the family's life easier, Parker said. "But she loves it too much!"
Ultimately, it's up to each family.
"There's no decision tree," said Bloom, no "perfect cocktail."
There is, however, a critical element that often falls to the wayside: the family's overall lifestyle.
"There are families with so much stress because all weekend they're traveling to games. We don't let our kids drive all the decisions in our families. They don't have to drive extracurricular decisions," Bloom said.