Between classes, homework, extracurricular activities and spending time with friends and family, your child may end up feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Here's how to tell if your child is overscheduled and simplify his or her schedule.
While staying busy can help your child develop, being too busy could have a negative effect on his or her emotional and intellectual growth. Signs of an overscheduled child include:
- Constant headache or stomachache
- Change in school performance and sleep patterns
To make sure your child isn't overscheduled:
- Check the calendar. If your child has more than three appointments or activities in one day, look for ways to reschedule one or more activities.
- Choose one extracurricular activity. What if your daughter wants to take dance class, sing in choir and try out for softball? To keep your child from taking on too much, discuss which activity she would most like to try. If one doesn't work out for her this year, there's always next year to take up the other activity.
- Talk it out. Whether it's at a family supper or when you're picking your son or daughter up from school, take a moment to check in. Ask your child if he or she is feeling overwhelmed and let him or her know that you're here to help.
|Bring Back Backyard Fun
If your child is feeling stress from a full schedule, schedule some time where you and your child can bond together without any other expectations but to have fun. Playing games outside can be anything from shooting hoops or throwing a Frisbee®. Need more ideas? Give these a try next time you're planning fun time outside:
- Ghost in the graveyard. Perfect for a moonlit Halloween, this hide-and-seek-type game has one person chosen as a ghost. Other players hunt for the ghost, then yell the phrase "ghost in the graveyard" when the ghost player is found.
- Sack races. Say goodbye to summer with a day of sack races with the kids. Include three-legged and wheelbarrow races for a full day of fun.
- Scavenger hunt. Hide small treasures for your child and his or her friends to find. Divide family and friends into teams with bags and lists of items to look for and head outside.
Did you know?
- Approximately 30 percent of tweens and 42 percent of teens experience headaches due to stress, according to a 2009 survey by the American Physiological Association.
- By age 13, three out of four children who participated in extracurricular activities beginning in first grade have quit, according to statistics in the book The Hunted Child.
- Approximately 25 percent of tweens and 39 percent of teens saw a pronounced change in eating habits due to stress, but only 8 percent of parents noticed, according to a 2009 survey by the American Physiological Association.
This article, provided by My Health Publisher, can be viewed here.