Teenagers are involved in so many activities these days. There are sports – one for each season of the year – that require them to attend practice, as well as games. There’s band practice and games to play at, as well as band competitions. Then, if they’re involved in any school clubs – FBLA, FHA, FFA, FCA, or foreign language clubs – they’ll have activities for those, too. How many after school activities are too many?
Do your children and teen’s activities have you running every day of the week? With younger children you’ll be responsible for taking them to scout meetings or to various practices. As they grow up and learn to drive, they can get back and forth on their own. But how do you decide which activities should stay and which should go?
Have your children been having problems completing their homework because they’re not home? Are their grades failing because they’re not doing their schoolwork or are too tired to concentrate in class? If so, you may want to consider making some changes to your family’s schedule.
Maybe you weren’t able to participate in something you wanted to do when you were younger. This may have clouded your thinking to allow your children to participate in too many extracurricular activities. Perhaps it’s time to reduce the number of things you allow your children to do.
You may want to take a serious look at the amount of time your family spends away from home. Ask each person to write down on a piece of paper all of the different things they do, when they meet, and how long the meetings are. This might include sports, band, religious activities, scouting, volunteer obligations, and parent’s business meetings.
After you’ve seen just how many activities each person is involved in, you may see the need to reduce how much time each family member spends away from home. Perhaps each person should be limited to one activity per season. Instead of allowing one person to participate in a sport and band or choir, have them choose one or the other.
If your child or teen is an athlete, their team is depending upon them to show up for practices and for each game. If they decide not to continue to play that sport after the season is over, that’s okay. However, deciding to quit in the middle of the season would affect the rest of the team. It would be better to let another activity go if they are away from home too much.
When trying to decide how many after school activities are too many, don’t forget to include your own activities. You may be too busy after work to enjoy time with your family. Your goal may be to allow the children, teens, and adults in your family to learn and enjoy activities. However, you may learn that too many activities makes the parents busy chauffeurs and children tired.
Do you have a solution in your family?