In many families, both parents work and the kids are involved in numerous activities after school and on weekends. How can you tell if your kids are involved in too many activities?
Mary Gavin, MD, shares on KidsHealth.org that kids who are overscheduled may feel tired, anxious or depressed.
Overscheduled kids may suffer from headaches or stomachaches due to stress, missed meals or not getting enough sleep. Kids who are involved in too many activities may fall behind on their homework.
It’s important to find a balance between scheduled activities and family time. Does your family spend time together each day?
Do you eat dinner together or is each parent shuttling a child to an evening activity by way of the fast food drive-through window?
Do your kids do homework on the run or stay up long past bedtime to complete homework due to late ball games or practices?
Are your week day evenings filled with stress and do your weekends leave you feeling worn out instead of rested? All of these may be signs that your kids are involved in activities that cut deeply into family time.
Parents should talk together about family goals to provide a united front about scheduled activities. Setting limits can help slow the pace, leaving more time for the family.
If your family’s schedule seems too hectic, it probably is. Talk together to determine what the right balance is for your family.
Many experts recommend that each child should choose a single sport or organized activity each season. Get some input from your kids about which activities they enjoy the most.
Family meetings can help parents share family goals and provide each family member with a voice in how free time is spent.
All activities should be noted on your family calendar, posted in a location all can see. Include family dinners and family time activities on your calendar.
Talk together before the weekend arrives about community events or family time activities to enjoy together. Taking a hike in the mountains, riding bikes or attending a family festival together are good ways to spend family time together.
Sports, school and social activities all may play an important role in your child’s life. Family time plays an equally important role in your child’s life.
Slowing down the pace of scheduled activities can help you find more family time. Balancing scheduled activities with unscheduled time can help provide time to for everyone to relax.