Last updated on January 1st, 2023 at 02:35 pm
Most families today are much busier than they used to be. Did you know that even in the 90’s children usually only spent an average of 90 minutes on after-school activities a week? Today, it seems like they’re doing everything. But, there are many more reasons not to overschedule kids than there are to overschedule them.
Some parents think that keeping kids super busy keeps them out of trouble. While that may be true, (there is no evidence for or against it) it also causes stress and keeps them from figuring out what they really want to do with their lives. It also doesn’t help them get into a better college or perform better at anything because there is no time to concentrate on anything. It’s hard to excel at one thing if you are doing too many things.
- More Family Time – Spending more time with the family is a chief indicator of how well a child will do in school as well as how well they’ll do as adults. Doing tons of activities aren’t doing things with the family.
- Cuts Down on Stress – People who are overscheduled experience too much stress. It’s hard to get enough nutritious food, get enough sleep, or even drink enough much less spend a few minutes alone relaxing and reading. Humans need downtime and without downtime, they’re likely to experience enormous stress.
- Helps Sleep Better – People need plenty of downtime to fall asleep on time to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Remember, the younger someone is the more sleep they need. But most people can’t go to bed at 11 pm and fall asleep immediately, especially if they’re stressed out. Instead, cutting down on after-school activities can facilitate better sleep due to more downtime and less stress. A second grader should be going to bed around 8:30 pm to get enough sleep if they have to get up 6:30 am as children aged six to 13 need to sleep 9 to 11 hours a night.
- Give Your Child Time to Figure Out What They Want to Do – Instead of choosing activities for your child, give your child time to be bored so they can figure out not only what they want to do for an activity but who they want to become as they grow up. How can they know if you’re choosing for them?
- Can You Really Afford It All – If you’re not saving for your retirement and are often short of funds, too many school activities aren’t smart financial planning. As mentioned before they don’t help with better college scholarships unless your child excels in one needed sport, so you may be wasting your money.
- How Much Time Are You Spending in the Car – Someone must get your child to each activity, how is all this driving around affecting you? Spending so much time sitting is not good for anyone. You want to be more than a glorified taxi driver to your children.
The truth is, spending too much time in many activities isn’t good for anyone at all. It’s bad for your child, it’s bad for you, it’s bad for your bank account and it doesn’t serve any real purpose other than to be busy. Focus on activities that really mean something to your child. For example, if your child really wants to be a famous singer, taking voice lessons, and instrument lessons and even dance lessons make sense if they’re serious. But it doesn’t make sense after a certain time if they aren’t that interested. It only drains everyone.