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How do you ensure that your children don't get over scheduled?

Between my children's school activities, sports practices, music and dance lessons I am wondering if they are being over scheduled. Is this something I should worry about?


Charity | Expert

Charity

When my kids were younger they did seem a little over scheduled. They wanted to try everything, and I wanted them to have those opportunities. As they have gotten older they have narrowed down their interests a bit. 

Now they participate in only one sport at a time and they both play the piano. My son plays the trumpet as well, but his lessons are during school.

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Heather | Expert

Heather

We let them pick one thing musical and one thing physical. They both strengthen the body and mind. There are more activities through school when school is in session and we let them dabble in those things here and there.

It's most important that they don't get over scheduled because healthy eating, sleep, and homework should come first in their young lives. Busy schedules make these things fall by the wayside pretty easily.

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Jocelyn | Expert

Jocelyn

My children are allowed to choose two activities to be involved in at a time. It's very stressful, not only for the children, but for the entire family when each child has many activities.

For instance, right now one of my children is involved in strings and in drama club and another is involved in band, but is a teenager that attends dances, sporting games and goes to the mall and movies.

We make an effort to spend quality time as a family every single day, there really is nothing more important. As soon my children walk in the door from school, their dad and I ask about their day, ask if they have any homework and if there is anything else we should know about.

We sit down as a family to eat dinner 4-5 nights per week and we have breakfast as a family each weekend morning. We use those times to really connect with one another. We don't allow electronics at the dining table and we make sure we get everyone's full attention. There is nothing more important than family!

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Lori | Expert

Lori

It is important that kids don’t get overwhelmed with activities. I believe allowing each child to select one or two activities is good, but not too much so that they don’t have time to just be a kid.

Our family rule is that everyone be at the table for dinner each night, this is quality time for us to catch up with one another.  Sometimes it’s not possible to do this every night when there are so many other things going on, but try to make it mandatory that everyone be at the same place for a meal at least once a week. This is a no phones, no TV, no texting time.

Go around the table and have each person talk about the ‘best’ part of his or her day. Maybe it is something they did that they were especially happy about or proud of. Make sure each person gets a chance to be the center of attention. At first it can be difficult for the kids to tell about their day and they tend to want to say, “I don’t know,” but you can ask leading questions about a specific activity to get them started. 

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