You’re probably hip to one of the most famous golden rules of parenting: “Keep ‘em busy.” Between sports, music lessons, social gatherings, and schoolwork, there’s definitely enough stuff out there to keep your kids occupied. But is my child too busy? We all want the best for our kids, but here are some warning signs that you may need to slow down the pace.
Is My Child Too Busy?
1: Does your child seem like they are anxious, depressed, or tired with no other logical explanation? If you’re not sure what may be causing them to feel this way, it may be time to check in with them and discuss how they’re feeling about their time commitments. Let them know it’s ok to cut down on activities if they’re causing them more harm than good.
2: Is your child falling behind on their schoolwork? Are their grades dropping? If they have no time to focus on schoolwork, they’re probably overcommitted, which means you may need to eliminate some things from their hectic schedule. Grades and keeping up with school lessons can impact your child’s self confidence, so it’s important to make time for academics.
3: Is your family life suffering because your child’s activities have become more of a priority than family time? Are you and your spouse losing out on quality time together just so your kids can get to their extracurriculars? Are family dinners becoming nearly impossible? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may need to slice some things from your kids’ schedule. Eating dinner as a family may actually hold more value than your child’s third or fourth extracurricular activity.
4: Are you feeling tired or stressed out from having to drive your kids from school to practice day after day? If so, then it may be time to find some time for YOU. Many parents feel pressured to keep their kids in dozens of activities because of peer pressure or perhaps to give their children an edge in a competitive world. But it’s just as important to build in free time for your kids to explore and learn on their own. And don’t forget that adults need their free time too. All of us need downtime so that we can be healthy and productive.