Number one, I have a new theory, people use the adjective independent when they really mean stubborn. I hear people all the time say, so and so is so independent, which causes me to think really? They are independent?! So and So always seems so needy to me. Of course I don't say this, but really most people I hear described as independent don't fit it in my opinion. I recently realized, a lot of people say independent about a person who is really quite dependent for certain things, they just are extremely stubborn about everything else. But I guess both me and the people I think are wrong are right. One definition for independent is not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, which is what I see as stubborn, someone suggests something and they absolutely refuse no matter what the suggestion, just on the sense they don't like advice. Where I think of these definitions when I think of the word independent, not dependent; not depending or contingent upon something else for existence, operation, etc.; not relying on another or others for aid or support; rejecting others' aid or support; refusing to be under obligation to others; possessing a competency: to be financially independent.
Number two, I have absolutely no problem with extracurricular activities, but I don't find a great need for them in my just barely 5 year old's life. We've done a gym class or two, swim lessons, I wouldn't say no to a toddler/preschool group music class, we love story time. But I have no need a competitive sports in my young child's life. Maybe in a few years, but I don't have much of a team player on my hands. Nor do I have a child that likes to be directed. I don't think they are beneficial for young children, but if you want to with your children more power to you, but don't expect me to sign my kid up, I don't want to deal with the tears that would ensue after the each game. But there is also a selfish reason behind all my "good" parenting. I don't want to do with all that work. I would rather walk to the park and let my kid run around in circles than watch preschoolers play ball. Not to mention I adore spending time with my husband, and choosing what activity we want to do. During the evening or weekend, ours lives revolve around us not our children. We aren't bad parents, we feed them, bathe them, care for the in the evening, but there is nothing like a healthy dose, of I'm listening to mom/dad, you need to wait to talk until we are done. We don't see much of my husband so why would I want to take precious time away from him doing what we want to do, for preschool sports. I have plenty of time to chauffeur my children around once they know how to ask. Why bring it on early?