Most schools in my area are starting in the next week or so….which also means after school activities are also getting ready to begin. Is your child going to be over or under scheduled? It is sometimes difficult to find a happy medium.
I am still a big believer in the “one sport” per season rule and one other activity..maybe two if the third activity does not require a weekend game or practice. So, what does this look like for a child in elementary school….soccer, fall baseball or football for the fall season, as well as girl scouts, boy scouts, debate team, chess team, and then maybe piano or flute lessons? You can change that up in anyway and substitute dance, gymnastics, volleyball, a foreign language class…but you get the picture. In this way your child should have several days a week with “NOTHING” to do after school…except go outside and play! This gives the parent or caregiver a break as well from driving all around to transport to the venue for the practice or game.
I hear so many complaints from parents who are in a constant state of stress from trying to figure out transportation for their child to the soccer practice that conflicts with the football practice and the lacrosse practice. This also requires trying to juggle the multiple games on the weekend that go on for hours one after the next, and even on Sunday mornings. When I hear the parents complain about this ridiculous schedule I am also seeing the children who are over tired, burnt out and may even have stomach aches and headaches due to the stress of being over scheduled.
While every parent is well intended and wanting their child to have as many opportunities as possible in both athletic and other extracurricular activities, a parent also needs to sometimes say “no”. Discussing the logistics as well as the time commitment for each activity, in an age appropriate manner, may help a family decide which activity stays and which one is “punted”.
So….sit down before you and your child are overwhelmed and pick the activities that you will do this fall…but leave some room for being bored. Boredom is a noun that we need to hear more often.