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The Hurried Child- keeping balance for your child

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  • The Hurried Child- keeping balance for your child

    So I admit it.....

    The glitz and glam of extracurricular activities entices even me, mom!

    From volleyball to dance, Camp Fire to Aikido, piano to art, foreign language, music, etc, the list goes on. There is a flurry of activities available these days and if I wanted to (I don't) I could have my children in all days of the week till bedtime. Most of what I see is engaging and seems like a lot of fun. I want more for my children than I had, but within reason.

    How do you keep a balance of activities for your child?

    How do you know when your child can do more activities, or needs to scale back and do less?

    What is age-appropriate?

  • #2
    Good questions - when both kids were in therapy life got so hectic and we were all just exhausted. So, we stopped everything for several months. It was really nice.

    Right now my son is in two extracurricular activites and my daughter one. My son has chess club at school one morning a week before school and then both kids are in a dance class (same location, same time, different classes) one evening a week.

    They both enjoy the activities and I don't feel overwhelmed so for us, I think that is a good balance.

    When I decided to stop the therapy it was because all three of us were grouchy, the kids were falling asleep in the car on the way home from their appointments, they argued with each other more, etc. Granted the therapy was beneficial but as time wore on and we all got tired of the running around 4 days a week, it was starting to become more burdensome.

    I do think that for some families more activities work and for others less. One thing that I think is important is really knowing what your child likes/wants with regards to activities. I'm not talking about what they think you want to hear, but what they really want. I'm hoping that as an AP-family it will be easier in this realm.


    • #3
      This is definitely a good subject! I admit that sometimes I get wooed by all the activities available for kids, and I think, "wouldn't it be great/beneficial/fun for the kids to be involved in this or that?"

      It's especially difficult when friends and relatives have their kids signed up for activities every day of the week! I can't help comparing. I wonder if I'm doing good by not having my kids in so many activities, or if I'm just really an inactive person, and am subjecting that on my kids?

      My kids have swimming lessons one day a week after school. My daughter, 3 yo, also has Kindermusik one day a week, (but that's mommy and me) and we go to the library story time one day a week.

      For my son, 6 yo, I think this is a good balance. He's in full-day Kindergarten this year, which is a big commitment in itself. He's a very sensitive person, and requires a lot of downtime. I think swimming one day a week is a good balance for him.

      For my daughter, I think she will be up to more activities when she gets older. She's more outgoing, and I think will enjoy these activities more.

      But how much is too much, you know? My family enjoys dinner together, and family time on the weekends. That limits our time to do these activities.

      So, we have our balance right now, but only time will tell how things will change as our children age.


      • #4
        We're unschooling, and we all become miserable when we get in that stuck-in-the-house rut. So, I try to schedule activities so that we're out of the house most days for part of the day. My older son has SPD and is a sensory-seeker, which means that I'm especially looking for regular activities that will fulfill his sensory needs. Right now, our schedule is more packed than I'd like, but it seems to work for my kids (ages 5 and 1). I definitely try to incorporate some down time every day, so we can just chill out.


        • #5
          we try to implement alone-time, too. and at least once every two weeks, we have Pajama Day where we stay in our pajamas at least all morning and don't schedule anything. this seems to serve the purpose of slowing us down, but also appreciating the scheduled activities.