Guest Author - Rebecca Spooner
September, a month full of new possibilities! New friends, new activities, new skills to be learned. Most kids will have a list of things they want to be involved in, the question is how do you choose? They all look good on paper, but halfway through the year when the family hasn't sat down to dinner in a month the joy can sometimes fizzle out.
Whether you have a boy or a girl, the list is sure to be endless. Sports, music lessons, dance lessons, gymnastics, etc. etc. etc. If you only have one child, it is possible to allow them to be involved in whatever they wish as you have no other children to consider. However, beware of over scheduling for your child's sake.
Too much is never good
There is such thing as too much of a good thing. Imagine you have a nice, tight knit family of four. Each of your kids has two or three things they want to be involved in. That means monday, wednesday, and friday are full of activities for one child and tuesday for the other. Almost every day of the week they finish school and are driven to their activity. They are hungry, they are overstimulated and need rest. Instead they are carted off to do something "fun". No doubt they have a good time. Come home and eat dinner and sit down to do their loads of homework. Mom and dad don't cook anymore, or sit down to eat as a family because they just don't have time. There is no family time anymore. Just running your children to their various learning experiences. Mom and dad are burned out, and the kids are too! They have no down time. They have no family time.
How to draw the line
Many parents wonder where do they draw the line? It is relatively simple. Each of your kids should be able to choose ONE extracurricular activity per season. This is a good time for them to learn how to prioritize and choose what is the most important to them. It allows for you to have more time to actually enjoy their activities and watch them grow in their various skills and development.
As parents, we want what is best for our children. And when they look at us with expectation and hope in their eyes, it is hard to say no. We want them to be happy, and this will obviously make them happy right? No. We are the adults. We know what they need is not always what they want. Because of that, we need to draw the line somewhere for their sake as well as our own. Happy extracurricular perusing!