Have you wondered if your child is in too many activities? Are all the extracurricular sports and classes we register our children in good for them? Many adults’ schedules look tame when compared to what today’s students are expected to do in just one week. After the school bell rings, it is not unusual for students to go to music lessons, academic tutoring, sports practice and and even a part-time job while keeping up with their homework. When is it too much?
Signs Of An Over Scheduled Child
Parents can first examine if the activity is something that is pleasing the child or pleasing the parent. Before registering their child for an activity, parents can ask themselves if it is something the child wants to do or something the parent wishes the child would want.
Deciding if a Child is Doing Too Much
What are signs of an over scheduled child?
- Repeatedly does not want to go to activity
- Lack of focus throughout the day; they look overwhelmed
- Trouble sleeping
- Excessive nail biting or increased existing compulsive behaviors
- Falling grades; avoiding classes
- Physically ill or going to the school nurse a lot; staying home from school sick
- Losing and gaining weight or beginning to eat more junk food
Do You Let Them Quit?
If a child is struggling or does not enjoy a sport, It’s usually best to allow him or her to finish the season for that activity and skip the next season. But, if a coach has said the child has real potential, it’s okay to encourage sticking with the sport or activity as long as it is not an on-going battle.
Rather than complaining they are overwhelmed, middle school and high school kids can stop communicating with their parents and begin to fall behind in more than one area. Younger children may complain more and become grumpier throughout the day. If children are constantly irritable and negative or are involved in harmful behaviors like hair pulling, cutting or abusing drugs and alcohol, parents should seek professional help.
Dallas psychologist, Dr. Jeff Baldridge, offers advice to parents to determine if their child’s schedule is too much. For more information about Dr. Baldridge, please call 214.265.1965.