KNOXVILLE (WATE) – School is back in session, which means sports and other extracurricular activities are ramping up as well, leading many parents to wonder if their kids have too much going on. A busy schedule is not bad for children as long as it’s not affecting their well being. The question is how much is too much?
Dr. Jan Neece, a child psychologist with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, says the signs your child could be too busy include: feeling tired, anxious or depressed; complaining of headaches and stomachaches; falling behind on school work; and arguing more with family and friends.
Neece also had some tips for busy families. She says to agree on ground rules ahead of time. Plan on kids playing one sport per season or limit activities to two afternoons or evenings during the school week.
Know how much time is required. Does your child realize soccer practice is twice a week, right after school, until dinnertime? Will homework suffer? Keep a calendar to stay organized and display it in a prominent spot.
Be flexible. It’s okay for your child to miss one or two practices or lessons to wind down or enjoy family time.
Know when to say no. School should come first. If grades are suffering, something may need to be dropped. Teach children to prioritize which activities are most important to them and only allow them to add another activity if they are willing to drop something else.
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