We live in an age where we constantly strive to do more, achieve more, and earn more. With all of these pressures, many parents feel that it is necessary to engage kids in a large variety of different activities right from an early age. There are certain dangers that come when parents push their kids too hard, though, and overscheduling may cause kids to become stressed out. Stress can have negative consequences, including emotional disorders, issues with learning, and just plain bad behavior. It can be tough for some parents to draw the line and figure out how much is too much and what the best strategy for extracurricular activities is.
Allow Kids to Choose
Kids do best in areas that they are actually interested in, so it is important that parents allow kids to choose what they want to participate in. By communicating with kids and finding out what their interests are, parents can encourage kids to participate in activities that they actually like. It is rare that kids learn to like an activity that they were forced to participate in.
Limit the Number of Activities
Kids may love a huge variety of activities such as soccer, trumpet, church choir, baseball, and karate, but that doesn’t mean they should be participating in all of these activities at once. Even if children believe they want to commit to participating in all of these activities, parents should try to limit the number of activities. Kids can always alternate and join different teams from one season to the next. Kids should have ample free time to be able to simply relax and socialize with friends and family.
Keep It Light
Parents often become highly competitive when their little bundle of joy is up on the field. Becoming too intense can destroy the fun of a game, though. Parents should remember that activities are meant to encourage fun and should act accordingly.