Having two boys, my husband and I have tried to avoid the “H” word for some time now. So far, it’s working… but I’m not fooling myself. I know that one day, I’ll need to sit down with one son – or both – and explain exactly why this house is, and always will be, a hockey-free zone.
“We love hockey!” <- Yelled from our living room. Nowhere near an actual hockey rink.
Here’s the thing. I’m a realist; I know that I probably have a better chance at winning the lottery than having my child make it as a professional hockey player. In fact, of minor league hockey players in Ontario (where roughly 45% of Canada’s hockey players live) born in 1965, 1975 and 1985, only 1 in 1,000 played a single game in the NHL.
If you’re willing to chance those odds, I’m definitely not going to rain on your parade, but here’s the thing – hockey, and other extracurricular activities – are expensive. Like, hella expensive. (As a former dance mom, I am particularly qualified to make this claim.) True statement: 46% of Canadian parents are or know someone who is pulling kids out of extracurricular activities (such as hockey, swimming, music lessons, etc…) because of the cost.
Now if you’ve got the cash to fund your child’s sporting activities AND have set aside (or are continually saving) money for their post-second education, congratulations! You are living the dream. And may the hockey gods be forever in your child’s favour!
However, the grim truth is that less than half (48%) of parents are saving money for their children in the form of a Registered Education Savings Plan, and almost half of Canadian parents (43%) are willing to go into debt or even defer their retirement to put a child in hockey and other activities.
The message is loud and clear: parents are still struggling to score the right balance this winter when it comes to hockey and education. …