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      KidsParenting News

      How many after-school activities are too many?

      The key to successful after-school activities is maintaining a healthy balance. Children also need time to play and socialise with friends.

      There are so many options when it comes to after-school activities available for children. The list includes sports, dancing, gymnastics, scouting, music, karate, and yoga. However, with the rise in academic requirements for children in both primary and high school – combined with hectic life schedules –? afternoons filled from top to tail with extra activities can leave little time for homework, family time, and playtime.

      Here are a few tips to assist you in developing a realistic after-school activities timetable for your child.

      Provide time for play

      The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents provide children with ample time for free or open play. Ensure that your child has enough downtime at home to play and unwind.

      Choose after-school activities that your child is passionate about

      Children choose to participate in activities for a variety of reasons, including leadership development, exercise, making friends, having fun, and instrument learning. Find out the reasons why your child wants to enrol in an after-school activity and ensure that those reasons are valid. For example, if your child isn’t really passionate about playing the guitar – but their best friend is – there is no point in enrolling them in guitar lessons.

      Top tip: If your child is interested in a new activity, find out if they can take one free trial class. This way they can see if they’re really interested in the activity.

      Consider the financial and time commitments

      The cost, duration of practises, and daily and weekly time commitment of after-school programmes vary greatly. Is there a fee to rent or purchase sporting equipment? Can you provide your own transportation, or do you have trusted friends or family that can assist? All of these considerations will determine whether or not this activity is viable for your family.

      Help your child in selecting a maximum of two activities

      A good balance could include a physical and artistic element. Music, art, and theatre may help your child find and cultivate their talents and build their resources, making them more well-rounded and self-assured. On the other hand, physical fitness and muscle tone activities can relieve stress by releasing feel-good endorphins, and they teach social skills like sharing and obeying rules.

      Encourage them to persevere

      Once your child has made a decision, encourage them to continue with it for a season, or at least long enough to gain a fundamental understanding of the activity. If they are dissatisfied, consider whether they simply require a different teacher rather than a change in extramural activity.

      Keep in mind that each child is unique

      While some children thrive on busy schedules, others struggle. Remember that every child is different and your choice of how many after-school activities your child should be doing is determined by their personality type, motivation, and developmental stage.

       
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