There can be a fine line between enriching and over-scheduling your kids, and it’s tough to distinguish. As a parent, whether you’re married, working with a Richmond Hill divorce lawyer or single, it’s tempting to keep your kids busy and moving forward all the time. Whether parents want their children to experience all the things they missed as a child or they want to encourage exploration of several paths—and both are fantastic reasons—many are sacrificing “kid time” in the pursuit of too many extracurricular activities, according to many psychologists.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Many kids benefit from participating in fun extracurricular activities; from after-school soccer to piano lessons, there are several great ways to enrich your kids’ lives. However, it is possible to over-schedule your kids. Kids aren’t emotionally equipped to rush from place to place without a rest in between (and we as adults aren’t, either), and over-scheduling your children can cause them to develop anxiety, stress disorders and depression. You might have less time with them due to your custody arrangement, or you may have let your spouse keep the house during the division of your property; these things can compound kids’ everyday stress.
How Much is Too Much?
Kids need time to play with friends, hang out with family and even just to relax. Since children don’t have the same coping mechanisms adults do, they may handle their frustration by acting out and becoming aggressive. Some kids exhibit physical symptoms like headaches and stomach aches, and still others are at risk of slipping into clinical depression.
Talk to your kids about their schedules. Are they constantly tired or unhappy about participating in some activities? If you’re going through a divorce or have recently split from your spouse, have your kids had enough time to process their emotions, or are they too busy?
While your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer isn’t a therapist, he or she might have some insight on over-scheduling your kids. Your lawyer has likely worked with many people in situations similar to yours, and finding out what works for other families might be helpful.
Why Busy Moms and Dads Over-Schedule
Most over-scheduling moms and dads think they’re creating a well-rounded childhood for their kids. However, your kids might look back and remember how tired they were or how mom or dad was always rushing them—quite the opposite of what you intended when you booked their schedules.
If you’re concerned that you’re over-scheduling your kids, you might be right. Scale back on a few activities and see if your child becomes happier. Sometimes it’s a good idea to ask your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer for a referral to a local counselor who can help your family get back on track.