Extracurricular activities - How much is too much?

Filed under: Big Kids, Tweens, Teens, Activities: Babies, Day Care & Education

girl playing soccerMy older daughter's soccer coach called last night. I groaned when he told me he'd set soccer practices for the same day of the week that my daughter has dance. Now, one evening a week, she'll go from one dance class to the other, then directly to soccer practice. It's too much, in my opinion. But she's adamant that she doesn't want to give either activity up. Luckily, soccer season is short-lived.

I know that, down the road, we'll have this conversation again. We're lucky that there are so many great programs out there for our kids to take part in, but yet there has to be room in the schedule not only for family time, but for downtime too. It's got me wondering, how does a parent know when to say when to after-school activities?

According to Scholastic, extra-curricular activities benefit kids in a myriad of ways -- academically, emotionally, and socially. But kids need to play a role in deciding what and how much they want to take on. (In other words, trying to turn an uninterested child into Tiger Woods through early and intensive golf classes isn't really going to do anyone any good). They've also got a grade-by-grade guide to after-school activities for little ones. According to them, our two extra-curricular activities are perfectly appropriate... I just wish they didn't all happen on the same night.

What about you? Where do you draw the line when it comes to extracurricular activities?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.