Kids today are involved in many activities, even starting at a young age. While we want to make sure our kids are getting the best, we also want them to be happy and healthy. Just like in adults, over-committed schedules can cause distress and anxiety in children. Let’s not teach the younger generation those habits. Instead, let's make sure they are enriched with meaningful experiences. It’s not about quantity but quality.
These are some tips I have used to make sure my two children are doing activities that they enjoy and that are also mommy-approved.
Pick at least one day during the week, and one day during the weekend that are off limits. This gives your child at least 2 rest days a week. This doesn’t mean that the 5 left must be used, but for those children who have very busy schedules due to being on multiple teams or clubs this is a great way for them to have a respite. On those days, you can schedule a family time activity such as a movie night, or allow the time to be completely free and flexible.
Our scheduled activities are on a monthly dry erase calendar. It’s easier for kids to see what is planned and helps them to prepare for their day. Even young children can begin to start self monitoring and managing their time. For instance, knowing that they have to do their homework early so that they can go to sports practice is a great introduction to time management for children.
We as parents want our children to be in so many enrichment activities. Whether it’s to learn an instrument, play a sport, dance, act, run for student government, learn a foreign language, there are always activities that we can find beneficial for our children. Activities that we wish we took advantage of when we were their age. However, sometimes there was a reason why as children we didn’t...we weren’t interested in them. Let your children select one activity that they would like to participate in. Let them be a part of the process of selecting their extracurricular schedule. It will also teach them decision making and how to honor their commitments.