By Dr. Erica Wollerman
As I shared last week in my blog post about overscheduling, I have been thinking a lot about overscheduling as we adjust to the back-to-school phase. So often, our kids have jam-packed schedules filled with numerous extracurricular activities, tutoring sessions, and academic pursuits. While exposing kids to various experiences can be beneficial, overscheduling can take a toll on their physical and emotional well-being. As parents, it's crucial to strike a balance between offering enriching opportunities and allowing ample time for unstructured play and relaxation. In this blog post, I will share some of the risks associated with overscheduled children and the importance of nurturing balance and well-being in their lives.
So, what on earth could go wrong when you are just trying to provide your children with opportunities?
As parents, it's essential to evaluate your child's schedule regularly and make necessary adjustments to maintain balance. Focus on quality over quantity, allowing your child to participate in a few activities they genuinely enjoy and excel at. Invite them to talk with you about what they enjoy and what activities they might want to stop doing. It is a good learning experience for kids and parents to realize that we are not actually able to do “everything.”
Encouraging downtime and rest in your child's daily routine is also important. Sufficient sleep and relaxation are vital for their physical and mental well-being. How you frame this to them is so important - so make sure to let them know that they need rest just as much as they need activity, school, and food. Let them know that the signals of being tired all the time, not motivated, stressed, etc., are actually signals of needing downtime, just like a check engine light in the car is a sign the car needs some mechanical support! The “check engine light” analogy usually is super helpful in building an understanding of what our bodies need!
I totally understand why parents want to provide their children with so many opportunities - we all truly want the best for our children after all! Learning to strike a balance between enriching experiences and downtime is essential for their overall well-being and development. By nurturing a balanced schedule, we can foster their growth, creativity, and happiness, allowing them to academically and emotionally flourish. Remember that a child's well-being should always be the top priority, and finding that sweet spot of balance can lead to a healthier and more fulfilling childhood experience.
If you are interested in learning more about connecting with your child please make sure to sign up for our newsletter! Dr. Wollerman will be launching a parenting course all about this topic later this summer or early fall! You do not want to miss it!
At Thrive, we take a positive, client-centered approach to therapy that is focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy we offer in person and telehealth via video sessions, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
Blogs from the Thrive Family!
Musings from Erica, Jennifer, Maria, Kim, Andrea, Molly, Abbey, and Ying-Ying