Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Do You Have An Overscheduled Child?

All parents want their children to turn out the best in life. To be the smartest, the trophy winner and the only one in their class to be accepted into something or anything. Just so that they can brag about it. This, more often than not, results into the official over scheduling of their children.

As you probably know, most classes and activities occur after school for the children. Many run from 2:30pm until 9pm at night. A lot of families get so wrapped up in signing their children up that they don’t think about the logistics of it all. Many don’t even leave time to eat dinner. Just look around at a red light at 4pm on any weekday and you are likely to see the mini-vans and SUV’s full of kids and most are eating fast food on the run to the next activity. Who can this all be possibly good for?

No one. This results in children that are tired, frustrated and end up fighting with their siblings and having poor grades in class as well. All of these things are not an acceptable trade off for a trophy in their bedroom over a soccer game, most would agree. Children need time to be just that, children. When they grow up too fast, you end up with a whole different slew of issues that could have all been prevented just by not starting the child in so many activities at such a young age.

The best way to avoid this type of scheduling is to not get caught up in it in the first place. Be that Mom that when asked if Jason is going to be at the karate class next week that you respond with no, he needs some free time in between activities. Do not buckle by listening to those other mothers that are running their kids all over the place to a level of exhaustion for all parties involved. Sometimes, other mothers lie. There you have it, they lie. Mostly because they want you to join in their club of constant car pooling. If they told you that it was a misery club, they know that you would not join.

It is absolutely great to encourage your child to participate in sports and after school activities to a degree. However, not to the point that they do every single sport offered at school. Is your child really that capable of holding down their grades and other daily childlike activities along with tons of sports and hobbies? They excel at certain things and those are the ones that they should be encouraged to sign up for and to actually enjoy doing. Are you thinking right now that your child just may be too overly scheduled? Next time you are running them around in the car, look in your rear view mirror. Do they really look happy? If not, it may be time to think about what your doing and is it really for their benefit, or for yours.

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