Are we over-scheduling our kids?

I constantly question if they’re over-scheduling our kids. Some days I really wish there was a guidebook to help us through parenting…

I definitely need help determining if what we are doing for our kids is benefiting them or not. I am the type of mom who is constantly questioning whether or not what we are doing for our kids is the right path. Whether it’s moving out of the crib or when to potty train. Here lately, however, as my kids are getting a little bit older, I have started to question if they are involved in too much. Are they signed up for too many sports, clubs, or activities? Should I be allowing them to just play with friends in the neighborhood and relax after school? Is it really necessary that my seven year old play competitive sports? 

The mad rush is exhausting

My afternoons are filled with a mad rush to get everyone home from school and daycare to get them ready for after-school activities. I’m exhausted from working all day, and they are exhausted from school. As I shove snacks in my kids’ faces and try to quickly unpack backpacks and get them dressed for whatever sport or activity they are going to that night, we find ourselves in a never ending battle with one another. Generally ending with me bribing someone with a lollipop to just please put the blue leotard on! In the end, we get where we need to be, and they truly enjoy taking part once they have arrived. I may be ready for bed, but at least they enjoyed themselves. 

Do They need more time to just relax? Is over-scheduling them making them more stressed out?

This shuffle to take them from one structured environment all day to another structured environment after school has me wondering if it’s just too much. Would they be better off having time after school to let loose and have unstructured play time? As parents, we want to give our kids every opportunity that we can, but how do we know if it’s too much? I see the benefits of what my kids get from being involved. Seeing how much they learn from playing an instrument, being involved in scouts, and learning to work together in a team sport. Also, how tired they are and how much they yearn to just ride bikes and play with chalk outside with their friends. Not only are they being chauffeured off to their own activities, but they now have to sit and watch their siblings practice. Before you know it, their entire week is filled with very long days.

Maybe a summer break is what we need

I know that as a parent, I feel somewhat pressured to sign my kids up and have them involved because all of their friends and classmates are doing them. My mama’s heart doesn’t want my child to “miss out,” but I’m not sure if any of it truly matters. My kids are still young. I don’t want them to burn out too early or not get the time they need to play with their peers outside of school. This summer, we will be doing exactly that – little to no over-scheduling. Opting out of all activities and using this time to rest, reset and spend time together. I’m hoping this will help me gain some insight into what my kiddos need and what we can actually handle as a family. 

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