What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

HOW TO SCHEDULE YOUR CHILD'S TIME

     Home  >  Articles  > News & Tips: Sports
by Dr. Susan Bartell

Related: how to, parents, kids, children, family, schedule, manage, time, activities, school, sports, extracurricular, classes, busy, plan, after school, coordinate, tips, advice, Dr. Susan Bartell, psychologist,


Five tips for making your family's balancing act more manageable during the school year.

 

child juggling several activities; child holding soccer ball, guitar, and school books, backpack, bookbagIf you're like me, the beginning of the summer is spent planning how your child's fall schedule will look. If we wait until the very last minute, the dance and gymnastics classes will fill up, the good Little League coach's team will be complete, and the carpools will have already been organized - without us in them. So unless you have taken care of all these things in the spring (and if you have, I envy you!), at least part of the summer is spent planning for the fall. Which brings me to my next thought...how much organized activity is necessary and healthy for kids?

 It is definitely important to encourage extra-curricular activities. Too much downtime is inevitably spent watching TV, playing on the computer, and bickering with siblings. In addition, it is important for kids to learn how to balance mandatory activities like homework, chores, religious education, and tooth brushing with elective, fun activities. It is also critical for kids to work on the skill of follow-through. Kids and teens should be exposed to new experiences in order to broaden their horizons. When they learn multiple sports, try different instruments, play in a chess club, they learn that one can stretch both body and brain - and perhaps find a true passion.

While creating a fall schedule for your child that encourages extracurricular exploration, it is also important to keep in mind that for all children, there is a fine line between enough activity and too much. If you follow the five steps below you can be confident that you will strike exactly the right balance:

 

1. Your child should have only one regular after-school activity on a given day (this includes mandatory activities like religious education). On a weekend day, it's okay to have one mandatory activity (like religious school) and one fun activity (like soccer practice), as long as your child is happy about it.

 

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.


Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More News & Tips: Sports Articles

New Canaan YMCA Opens New Fitness Space, Supports Cancer Survivors

Concussion Risk in Soccer is As High As in Football
Rules of Engagement for Responsible Coaches on Social Media
New Facility for Youth Boasts 'Teacher of Team Sports'
Indoor Trampoline Center Opens Deer Park Facility

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local News & Tips: Sports Sponsors

Fleur de Lis Academy
27 Danbury Road (Route 7)
Wilton, CT
203-210-7155
...

Saugatuck Rowing Club and Fitness Center (The)
521 Riverside Ave
Westport, CT
203-221-7475
Set on the shores of the Saugatuck River in Westpo...

Cakes by Magic Dream Parties
Forest Hills, NY
212-470-8489
MAGIC DREAMS CAKES If you can dream it, we can ba...

Therapy Center for Children, LLC
156 North Ocean Ave
Patchogue, NY
631-207-1053
Christina Bellini-Zaher MS, OTR/L, the owner and d...
See Our News & Tips: Sports Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE