Does Your Child Have Too Many Activities?
Studies have proven time and time again that when children are involved in extra-curricular activities, their odds of getting in trouble or becoming a criminal go down as well. Northeastern’s College of Criminal Justice published a report in which this hypothesis was confirmed for females, at least. According to this report, sports and similar activities actually did not reduce the risk of inappropriate or dangerous behavior in teenage boys. What did seem to change things for boys was if they were involved in church activities or community activities. Interestingly enough, these types of activities did not reduce risks for females, only males. However, is it just as dangerous to have too many activities for your kids?
Either way you look at it, here is proof positive that certain types of activities will help keep your kids out of trouble. However, when you start overloading your kids, the positives turn into negatives for one simple reason – stress. According to research, children under the age of ten are the most likely to get hit with stress big time when faced with too many activities. In addition, those with issues like ADHD may also be more vulnerable to the cumulative effects of stress and a busy lifestyle.
We want the best for our children, and want to give them every opportunity to learn and grow. However, we forget that they are bombarded all day long while in school, and then must come home and rush off to the next activity. In order for there to be a healthy balance of involvement and a manageable routine, experts recommend that you only try a new activity for one month, after which the child can opt out. They also suggest that your child be involved in just one thing at a time.
Parents feel the negative effects of a stressful pace as well, and this can add to the overall anxious tone around the house. When you only have one activity a week to worry about instead of three, you can enjoy your time and your family without the hectic pace. It is important for both children and parents to essentially have “bum time” where they do not have an obligation for a little while. This lets you rest and recharge your batteries as an individual, and later, as a family. A family needs to play as well as work, and no one should always burn their candle on both ends.