We've talked in great detail about the benefits that involvement in extracurricular activities can have on your child. Not only can they help to develop a more engaged student, but they also teach valuable life lessons such as teamwork and self-esteem.
However, if you over-schedule your child with too many extracurricular activities, the benefits can quickly diminish. Unfortunately, parents experience an enormous amount of pressure these days to get their children involved with everything under the sun.
Is your child involved with too many extracurricular activities? Here are some of the most common signs to confirm this:
How many extracurricular activities should your child be involved with?
While you can find a number of parenting tips on this subject, the truth is that the optimal number of extracurricular activities that your child should take on can vary from one child to another.
For larger families, it can work well to choose an activity that all of the children can be a part of together and rotate it each season so that each child gets to choose an activity.
Another best practice is to establish a maximum number of extracurricular activities that your child can be involved in each season. For example, you may determine that choosing a max of two activities per season or semester is the right fit for your child.
Most kids, particularly during the elementary and middle school years, want to sign up for as many activities as possible. As parents, you naturally want your child to have as many opportunities to learn and grow as possible. However, it's just as important to the well-being of your child that you don't over-schedule him or her with more activities than can be handled.
Is there a danger to parental influence on extracurricular activities?
If you were a phenomenal baseball player or always wished that you learned to play the piano, you may influence your child to choose these extracurricular activities.
While there's certainly nothing wrong with this on the surface, pushing your child to continue to partake in these extracurricular activities can be draining for all involved if he or she has no interest in them. In this scenario, it makes sense for your child to drop these activities and move on to find something he or she is truly passionate about.
Good communication between the parent and child is always one of the best parenting tips that you'll hear, and this is especially true when it comes to getting your child involved in extracurricular activities. Listen to what he or she is interested in and passionate about. This can help you to establish a realistic number of extracurricular activities that your child can handle without becoming overwhelmed.
Be sure to follow our St. Barnabas Episcopal School blog for more useful parenting tips. Our mission is to challenge each student in a supportive environment that promotes academic excellence, sound moral values, and high self-esteem within a framework of God’s love.