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How Many Extracurricular Activities Is Too Many?

Find out if your child has too many extracurricular activities in this Howcast video about child anxiety issues.


Hi. We're gonna talk about how many extracurricular activities are too many for your child. It's not like there's a set number. There's not a magic number that says a child this age should have this many and a child that age should have, no, this many. You have to think about your child's interest, you have to think about your child's temperament, and you also have to think about what's realistic for your family, in terms of time, resources, money, energy, all of that. So sometimes is it who's having the extracurricular activities and who is stressed by them? You or your child?

First thing is you wanna see are they activities that they are interested in, and how did you pick and choose. The child should be involved in deciding which ones, how many, and sometimes if there is too many. Then you're really looking for the stress and if there's too many. And you have to really listen and look at what's going on. So is it that there's too many? Or is it that they are stressed because they are having difficulty managing or balancing something? Is it that there is a problem with the activity itself? Is it that there are some kids on a team that aren't being nice? Is it that your child isn't getting to participate as much as they want to? Maybe it's a coach that just doesn't have the right style for your particular child.

So again, it's not are there too many, but it's what's causing the stress about all the extracurricular activities that you wanna really problem-solve together. So it's looking at how does my child feel when they're going? Beforehand? How do they feel afterwards? Did they have a good time? That's different from just being tired and worn out. How is it interfering or enhancing the other things that they are doing in their life? If they are so involved with practicing the piano or going to practices for a sport that they're falling behind in their schoolwork, they may love the activity, you may be very committed to getting them there, but it means you need to do something else with your child to balance out the total impact on their life.

And then you just wanna look at how you just are all feeling about this particular schedule. And you always wanna make sure that sometimes it's not are there too many extracurricular activities, but is there enough free time, downtime? And just time to kick back and relax and daydream, you and your child. sometimes. And even the kids that are the most energetic need a little bit of that downtime to just recharge.

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