16 Oct Finding the Sweet Spot: Is Your Child Over-Scheduled?
Is your child over-scheduled? Families are busy these days. Between a parent’s busy home and work life, and kids in school with after school activities, it can be hard to figure out a balance. Certainly activities outside of school will enrich your child’s life, but at what point is it adding value, and when is it pushing your family over the edge?
3 Signs Your Child May Be Over-Scheduled
Lack of Sleep
It’s important to make sure your child is getting enough sleep. After they’re done with school and their extracurricular activity, they should have enough time to do homework, eat dinner, and get at least eight hours of sleep. Do you have trouble getting them out of bed in the morning? Are they lethargic all day or sleeping in class? These are signs your child may be over-scheduled because they’re not getting enough sleep.
Lack of Down Time
Kids benefit from unstructured time. Time that is unstructured helps them relax and decompress. This is the area where we say let kids be kids. Run in the sprinkler, paint or color, run and jump in the pile of leaves, or just have imaginary play. It’s important to note however that screen time is not unstructured time.
Your Child Acts Out When They Get Home
One of the biggest signs that your child is over-scheduled is if they come home from school and have a meltdown. When kids are at school, there is much that’s expected from them. They have to display self-control all day, and a lack of unstructured time over the week can make them feel like they can’t take it anymore.
Your Child’s Schedule Needs Balance
It can be difficult to find that sweet spot between a healthy number of activities for your kids, without your family having to sacrifice in other areas. First, evaluate how much time you’re spending on an activity. Research shows that eight hours a week works best for children. Five to seven activities over the course of a year is at the top end of the “sweet spot” before extra activities start to have a negative impact.
Make a conscious decision to have some down time over the course of a year. For example, pick a season not to have any activities scheduled for your children, so you can all enjoy some family life. Things like doing chores, helping with dinner, etc. is a gain to both children and families. Everyone benefits from family engagement.
If you’re a parent and you’re struggling or just need some support, call my office today and let’s schedule a time to talk.
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If you are ready to learn more about how to help your child, Cheri can help! She provides counseling to individual men, women, and couples. To begin counseling in Katy, TX follow these three steps:
- Contact the office to set up an appointment or to get more information about counseling
- Meet with Cheri.
- Find ways to improve your life!
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Cheri offers counseling services for adult individuals including: anxiety treatment, depression treatment, relationship help, and divorce recovery. She specializes in couples therapy and helps with specific issues such as: infidelity, intimacy and sexual health, and parenting. Cheri strives to regularly post blogs with helpful information on a variety of mental health topics. To learn more about Cheri and her counseling services, please contact Locke Counseling and Consulting today!