Saturday, November 27, 2010

Is Your Child Over Scheduled?

We see them everyday, those parents who are in a whirlwind shuttling their children here and there, to this activity and that activity. Some of them follow finely tuned, down-to-the-minute schedules. Their children seem to be involved in every club, sport and activity, from scouts to debate club to martial arts classes and more. Some of these children may be driven to build credentials for college entrance applications while others may be following peer pressure. Parents may also feel pressured to get their kids into a full spectrum of activities because they don’t want their children to miss any possible opportunities for development and growth. Unfortunately, some children may begin to feel overwhelmed.

Children who are experiencing this activity overload may exhibit some of the following characteristics:

- Lower grades
- Decreased enjoyment of the activities
- Feeling tired or depressed
- Experiencing body aches and/or headache due to either lack of sleep or stress

A full schedule of activities can wear on a child's family and social life. The child may really just want to hang out with dad while he’s selecting his favorite team on sports betting sites or building a project in the garage. And when both parents are shuttling the children to different activities, they may find that the entire family is suffering from activity overload.

You can use the following tips to alleviate over scheduling:

- Use moderation when scheduling activities. You can add more activities when you feel it is appropriate.
- Determine whether the chosen activity or club is age appropriate for your child.
- Use a scheduling system to make sure you feel organized. Make sure everyone in the family has access to the calendar and can plan accordingly.
- Create a family-only day. This is a day when you do something as a family, with no interference from individual activities.

By freeing up the family's schedule, everyone will feel better and less stressed.