It’s natural to want to give you child every opportunity to develop new interests and make new friends.
After-school activities can provide a great outlet for all that energy.
But time out is important too.
Just as adults can often feel overloaded, kids can also get stressed when they have too much on.
The challenge is to find the right balance.
It is actually OK for children to have some time with nothing to do.
Free time encourages imagination, provides an opportunity to learn how to cope with boredom and helps the child to be comfortable in their own company.
Also take a look at the bigger picture.
Is your child happy and thriving with all their scheduled activities?
Are they getting enough sleep and eating well?
Do they have enough time to do their homework?
And perhaps most importantly, how often does the whole family have the time to have dinner together and talk to each other?
Over-scheduling doesn’t just affect the child.
Parents can also get tired and stressed rushing from one activity to another, which increases with the amount of children that need to be juggled.
Taking the time to just stop and talk to your child can provide many benefits.
Regular communication can help your child to feel more comfortable opening up to you, which will make it easier to pick up on any issues that are bothering them.
Take care that you don’t fall into the trap of assuming all your children will have the same interests.
Sure, it is much easier to drop off to the one dance school or one sports facility, but you may inadvertently be negatively affecting your child’s confidence if one child feels they have to try to keep up with a sibling who has different talents and motivation.
Experts say that one to two extra-curricular activities a week if probably plenty for a child, on top of five days of school.
Don’t feel guilty saying no to more: you’ll be saving time and money, and more importantly, gaining family time that could benefit everyone. Avoid stress and make sure your child is getting a good balance.