With school back in full swing, chances are your child has joined – or asked to join – a sports team, club or activity.
Whether it’s swim team, chess club, student council or drama class, there are more activities and extracurriculars than ever for children. And, as parents, we like to keep our kids busy and active while they have a golden experience, not to mention give them opportunities to find a passion or hobby they love, right?
However, too many activities can be a bad thing, and no one wants an overscheduled child. Overscheduling your child can lead to stress, anxiety and burnout, not to mention it can drain your family budget and precious down-time together.
So, how do you know how much is too much? Here are four things to consider. Read on:
Attitude and Mood
If your normally sunny child is sullen, grumpy or rude, that can be a sign that she’s feeling some anxiety or strain. Also, if you notice changes in eating or sleeping habits, that can be a red flag that he has too much on his (activity) plate.
Take a look at how many afternoons and evenings you are out of the house, and think about where you can cut back.
No one likes to be dragged around and have zero down-time, even if it is for fun or enjoyable activities, and for children, the side effect of being overscheduled can be moodiness, anger or attitude.
If your child is begging to do ALL THE THINGS, but your budget can’t allow it, or maybe you don’t want to be a glorified taxi driver, it’s OK to show her boundaries. Have her pick one, maybe two, favored activities or sports a season, and that’s it. The rest of the time, he can pursue his passion in other ways, giving you plenty of time to celebrate!
It’s healthy and appropriate to set limits, especially if you are spending tons of time and money on children’s activities, and none on your, or your partner’s hobbies and passions.
There needs to be balance in the family and it’s up to you, as the parent, to model that! A burned-out, tired child won’t achieve extraordinary results, after all.
A good way to do it is to set a budget and tell your children to choose which activities they want to keep.
The End Game
A simple question to ask yourself if you believe your child is overscheduled is: What is the end game? Whether it is a college scholarship, keeping your child busy, or having her learn a life skill like swimming, examining the motivations for a busy, jam-packed schedule is one of the first things your family should do when looking to downsize activities.
Something like swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School can have the bonus of making your children safer in and around water – and it’s only a 30 minute per-week time commitment. Our instructors use integrity, compassion and trust to ensure your child is not only learning, but having FUN.
Maybe your child won’t swim for Olympic gold, but he’ll gain confidence and other life-skills in the pool.
Goldfish Swim School
Few activities have such a big payoff like swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School. Don’t believe us? Check out our WOW! Customer Service yourself at one of our many locations!