How Much is Too Much Extracurricular Activity

Posted by Tiara Swinson on January 13, 2022

overwhelmed

Whether your child has interests in sports, arts, or academics, it’s important to encourage their interests and development with extracurricular activities. These activities can not only fill out their schedules outside of classwork, but can provide an essential social element for their lives. Depending on how old your child is, they may be in just one or several activities.

However, things may become overwhelming. You don’t want to overload or overpack your child’s schedule. Down-time and leisure are important, too, and your child can get overwhelmed and stressed if there are too many extracurriculars on their plate. 

But how can you know how much is too much? There are three main factors to consider.

Cost:

No matter what the interest is, children’s activities are expensive. If you start to enroll your child in everything, you will have little left over for your home. If you notice that your funds are running low for these extracurriculars, it may be time to enforce some limits.

Time:

There are only so many hours in a day, and overbooking your child’s time is just as bad for them as it is for you. Not only will you run into a problem when trying to schedule anything, like playdates or doctor’s appointments, but they will quickly burn out. Children need time to rest and relax just like adults do, and having the free time to do that is valuable. Being shuffled from task to task cheapens the experiences and makes them resentful of all their extracurriculars.

Your Child’s Interests:

Nobody likes being forced into activities, and this is just as true for your child. If your child hates sports, forcing them to join a soccer team is not a good use of their time or your money. If your child loves reading, enrolling in an after-school enrichment program like Reading Genie would be a fun and enriching experience for them. Make sure to talk to your child about what they want to spend their time exploring and support that, and respect them when they tell you they don’t enjoy an activity, even if they used to like it.

It’s helpful to sometimes push your child to try new things, but make sure to respect their “no” just as much as you expect them to respect yours. They may try a new sport or club for a little while and decide they like it, or they may not be at all aware of the options they have. That’s where you come in: be aware of what your school and community have available to you. There are often sports leagues and clubs offered for little or no cost to parents, or you can even encourage their hobbies at home. Extracurriculars are helpful to their journey in discovering themselves and what they are passionate about, so be passionate with them!

 

Source: https://www.todaysparent.com/kids/school-age/tips-for-deciding-how-many-extracurricular-activities/ 

Topics: Child Stress, After School Program, Parenting Tips

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