Extracurricular Scheduling - Are Your Kids Too Busy?
Does your daughter's schedule look anything like this?
Monday: Band practice, school, dance class
Tuesday: School, tae kwon do
Wednesday: Band practice, school, cheerleading practice
Thursday: School, tae kwon do
Friday: Band practice, school, football game
Saturday: Gymnastics, karate tournaments
Sunday: Church, go to friends
Whoa! I hope not. What is missing in that schedule? Where does homework, family time, relaxing, reading, meals, being a kid and sleep fit into that schedule? Don't tell me – your child wants to do all that, right?
Or maybe all those extracurricular activities were your idea. You only want what's best for your child. If she is going to make the Varsity Cheerleading squad and take State Championship in Martial arts it's going to take some dedication.
Hello! Your child is ten! Let her be a child. Growing up goes way too fast, don't hurry it along. Children need to be children while they can. Once they hit high school there will be much more pressure to excel because college will be right around the corner.
Children should have two main responsibilities: Being a child and being a student. How can they become proficient in either if they are over scheduled, over worked and constantly on the go?
Sure extracurricular activities can have a very positive influence on your child's development. But so can good grades and quality family time. What would happen if you limited your child's extracurricular events to just one activity? Let her chose the one after school activity to participate in.
It may not be a popular decision, but it's a wise decision. Do you want to be your child's friend or your child's parent? Explain that it is not a punishment. Remember you don't have to justify your actions. What you do need to do is make the best choices for your children while they are still young. Doing so will equip them to make their own smart decisions later in life.
Make a commitment to limit the extracurricular activities this school year. Or perhaps give it a six month trial. You may find parking Mom's Taxi for a while is good for everyone in the family!
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