How to Schedule Your Child's Time
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2. The majority of elementary school age children or younger should not be formally committed to an activity more than two weekdays and one weekend day per week. Even kids who want to participate in an organized activity more often should be discouraged. They don't realize that they are likely to 'burn out' physically and emotionally. It is the rare child will become professional or go to the Olympics!
3. Most kids can use one weekday off from any formal activities - usually Friday is a good day for this - so they have time to play with friends.
4. Younger kids should have activities scheduled right after school, so they aren't tired and already settled in at home.
5. Once signed up for an activity, a child should be strongly encouraged not to miss a practice or session. It is important for kids to learn that they have a commitment to a team, that follow-through is important, and that activities cost money. Therefore, except for truly extenuating circumstances, complaining queries of "I'm tired; can I skip this week?" or "I don't like this; can I quit?" should be met with, "You need to stick it out until the end of the semester, and then we can reconsider."
Dr. Susan Bartell is a nationally recognized child psychologist, speaker, and award-winning author. Her latest book is The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask. You can learn more about Dr. Bartell at www.drsusanbartell.com.