In this day and age, it’s super easy to overwhelm your kids with a million after school activities. Don’t feel bad, Mom and Dad. You just want your tyke to be well-rounded and prepared for the future. However, it’s important to realize that different children have different capacities for extracurricular activities. Schoolwork load and other responsibilities also play a key factor in how much your child should take on after the school day is complete. But how do you know how much your kid can take on, and perhaps more importantly, how much they should take on? Keep reading to find out.
What Are Their Interests?
It’s tempting to throw your child into every afterschool activity possible. The more they do, the more they learn. However, this is often a waste of time, money, and energy. Rather, talk to your kids. Find out what they’re interests are. If those interests are age appropriate and available in your area, see about getting them into their first choice or two.
How Many Activities Can Your Family Handle as a Whole?
If you have one child, it can be a simple matter of getting that single kid to a couple of meetings after school each week for their recreational activities. However, if you have more than one, you need to make sure your entire family can handle what your little ones are taking on. The number of children you have participating in afterschool events will greatly affect your family dynamic as a whole. Don’t go overboard or you might go crazy.
How Much Schoolwork?
Although sports, dance, art, Scouts, and whatever else your little one is into is fun, schoolwork should be an even bigger concern. Make sure that they aren’t taking on so much that they have little time for their homework without being overly stressed.
What about Free Time?
Also, one key factor you may be forgetting is that everyone needs free time and rest. Just because your child has an extra minute here or there doesn’t mean that it needs to be filled with something ‘constructive.’ Give them plenty of time to play, explore, and be children. They’ll have responsibilities the rest of their lives. Let them enjoy their childhood right now.
Remember, afterschool activities are really a family affair. Don’t overbook your kids. Doing so will just stress everyone out. If all you can handle time-wise and finance-wise is one extracurricular per child, don’t feel guilty. Embrace it!