Is It Just too Much?
is about to open and with it comes the barrage of extra curricular activities. Talent
shows. Science projects. Homework. Dance class. Basketball practice. Violin recitals. Book
reports. When is enough too much?
A friend of mine once told me of her 15 year old daughter who had insisted on participating in almost every extra curricular activity that came down the pipe. "She has become snippy with her siblings and looks tired.
I think she knows that she took a large bite this time. She seems irritated that her free TV watching time has been replaced by schoolwork. What's a parent to do?
Is there a tactful way of dealing with this issue without squashing your child's interests or enthusiasm?
Here are a few tips that may help your child ease into a comfort zone fit for both of you Janet has chosen four activities that she would like to participate in after school: basketball, dance, ceramics and drama club. In order to determine whether or not this is doable without experiencing overload, first you must figure out if
1) she will have ample time for homework and special school projects
2) it will affect her family or religious obligations<
3) they will interfere with her private time alone or with friends
How much time does it take Janet to get her homework done each night? Is she the type of child that finishes her homework in study hall and on the bus ride home or does she dawdle for hours at night, just to rush and get it done the following morning while eating her breakfast?
Does she have prior commitments through her
church or other family obligations that may prevent or deter an activity she has chosen?
Will Janet have enough time to watch television and relax or chat on the phone with
2 hrs x 2 times per week = 4 hrs/week plus two Saturdays per month at 2 hrs each.
Do this simple exercise for each activity.
Don't get too detailed, keep it fairly simple and round up instead of down on your times.
This will allow for extra time if you need it, and we usually do!
Our children look to us for guidance. If we decide to be the 'bad guy" and tell our children whether or not they may participate in an activity, we create a negative atmosphere. By allowing our children to be part of the decision making process, we have taught a lesson in responsibility that will help carry them into a more productive adulthood. By allowing Janet to be part of the final decision, rather than being the "bad guy" yourself, you have created a win/win situation for both you and your child.