School, soccer practice, tutoring, homework, bedtime, repeat. Sound familiar? Many kids’ daily routines look something like this. Today’s parents strive to fill their children’s agendas with enrichment activities that improve their academic performance and athletic skills. But at what cost? If you’re wondering whether your child is too busy, here are three areas to consider.
The average school day is eight hours. During that time, kids are asked to absorb new concepts, apply them to real-world scenarios, and prove mastery. In order to succeed, our children must exhibit hours of focus, dedication, and discipline. Then, to add to an already long day of learning, most kids have to go home and complete homework. As effective as schooling is, it’s a huge commitment that should be a factor when balancing your children’s schedules.
Extracurricular activities are great! They allow children to obtain new skills, meet new people and learn how to be a team player. The question is not whether children should participate in extracurriculars, but instead, how many?
- Should your child join an athletic team every season of the year?
- Should they be members of multiple clubs on campus?
- Is it ok to take a break?
These are questions that you and your child will have to discuss. Weigh the pros and cons of each side and know that you can always reassess future decisions.
- Social Life
As parents, we often prioritize academics and extracurricular activities over unadulterated social time. As a result, some children end up with very little time to hang out, relax and just be kids. Although it’s important to ensure your child is educated and well-rounded, it’s also essential that they learn how to navigate unstructured social situations. If your child’s schedule is so packed that they regularly have to turn down invitations to parties, sleepovers, or after school hangouts, try creating more opportunities for them to socialize.
Is your child showing symptoms of being overbooked? If so, it may be time to cut back. Although after school activities are important, you have to put your child’s happiness and wellbeing first. Consider these three areas when deciding what’s best, and rest assured that you are making the right call.