After-school activities are important for your child’s development and teach valuable life lessons. However, too many activities could lead to stress, exhaustion, or a lack of motivation. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your kids strike a balance between school, after-school programs, and free time.
When signing your child up for sports and activities, it’s easy to focus on the benefits, like exercise and acquiring new skills. Remember that kids also need time to relax, so make sure to leave at least one free day a week, as well as time on the weekends, to rest their bodies and minds. And if they’re feeling under the weather or overworked, give them a break that day.
Listen to their opinions
Believe it or not, sometimes kids complain about things they dislike! Parents often need to ignore some grumbling for their kids’ own good, but if your son or daughter makes it clear they really dislike a certain after-school program, don’t force it on them. Instead, look for alternative activities and make sure to take your kids’ opinions into account.
Keep a schedule
One of the best strategies for maintaining balance in your child’s life is creating and regularly updating a schedule of all their activities. Every couple of months, go through that schedule and consider how to improve it. If it’s looking a little empty and you want to keep your child busy, ask them if there are any new sports they’re looking to try. If they mention that they’re overwhelmed with school and extracurriculars, consider taking a break from some activities.
The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing after-school activities is that your child’s interests, schedule, free time, and school demands will often change. Communicate often to figure out what’s working and what’s not. Keep an open mind, encourage them to try new things, and don’t forget to support the things they’re most passionate about.
Guest post written by Mikaela S., IXL Marketing Intern