Avoid Pressure To Overload Your Child’s Schedule

Some kids rush from soccer to swimming, from golf to Girl Scouts, from computers to karate.  They and their parents always feel rushed.  Many families have decided to try to slow down.  By giving their children more time, they also find that their lives feel more relaxed.  They enjoy their children more.  Here are some tips:

Choose carefully.  Some families set clear limits on what their kids can do – such as one sport per season.  Before saying yes to another “opportunity” for your child, think:  What are the benefits?  What will it cost you in time, energy, stress and money?

Make family a priority.  Your kids will be young for only a few short years.  Try to enjoy them.  Make family time as important as athletics, social activities or community good works.

Do some things just for fun.  Both kids and parents need some time to do things they like, whether it’s baking cookies or just looking at a cloud.

Leave empty spaces on your calendar.  Allow time for your kids to use their imaginations.

Sometimes, “good enough” is good enough.   Many sports have traveling teams.  These are not right for all kids.  Instead of sitting on the bench in a top league, your child might want to spend more time playing against kids whose skills aren’t so high.

Parents make the difference!

Source:  Robert Coles, Alvin Rosenfeld, M.D., and Nicole Wise,

The Over-Scheduled Child:  Avoiding the Hoper-Parenting Trap