After-school clubs, sports, and music lessons—oh my. It seems as though kids’ schedules are busier than ever. This got us thinking. How many extra curricular activities are too many for kids? How do you ensure they’re participating in activities that interest them, while maintaining school work and getting the proper amount of down time to rest and recharge?
Luckily, we’ve got an incredible Dad Community that’s always willing to answer the call when these questions arise. Here’s some advice they had for other dads:
- Some families had a “one activity at a time” policy. This usually pertained to seasonal sports or clubs, but they found with multiple kids it was easiest on their families to just choose one. Shuttling kids around/waiting time adds up, so don’t stress yourself out by signing up for too many things as the parent.
- Other dads said it was dependent on their family schedule. For instance, one family said Friday evenings and Sundays were off limits and dedicated to family time. So if an activity fell on one of those days, they passed.
- We had dads report an “as many as they can handle” approach. They were less concerned with the number of activities (and logistics) and focused on kids participating in what they wanted but still getting enough sleep and time to “be bored”.
- For the last group of dads, in the early elementary years, they would let their kids do 2-3 activities at a time and once middle school came around they had to focus and choose 1 to spend their energy on. This ensured they got to try a lot of things but by that age they were able to choose what they loved.
As with all of our advice, there is no right answer but we hope that if you’re finding yourself in this busy season of life with kids’ activities that this was useful to you.
For more articles like this and other Dad Community commentary, sign up for our weekly newsletter, ‘The Dad’.