We’ve all heard about parents who “overschedule” their child and keep the child running all week from lesson to lesson or sport to sport, or a combination of the two. The other side of that coin happens too. What if your child wants to join everything? When does a parent draw the line and set some limits?
The answer to those questions can be different for different ages or personalities. A few points to consider as you evaluate what’s right for your family:
- Does your child enjoy the activity and look forward to it?
- Is your child overly competitive or hard on themselves if they don’t meet their own expectations?
- How much expense is involved in the activity? Is that expense reasonable for your family budget?
- How does participation in the activity affect the rest of the family? Does it require travel or excessive time commitments that take away from other family activities?
- Is your child’s school performance negatively affected by the activity?
- Is the activity safe? Is it well supervised?
- Does your child have a balance of active and more relaxing activities?
Having a child who is ready and willing to explore many new things is a wonderful thing. Children need some opportunities to try out a wide variety of interests and see what clicks for them. Children who try a range of different things may come across a talent or skill that can become a lifelong source of satisfaction for them. Other children get caught up in wanting to do whatever various friends are doing out of some anxiety or feeling of missing out on something if they don’t get to do it all.
As with most things, balance is the key. Answering the above questions is a great way to start to sort through what is right for you and your child. Don’t forget to allow unscheduled time for everyone in the family as well. In a busy world like the one we live in today, we all need some time for quiet contemplation and relaxation.