JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s summertime and parents want to keep their children engaged.
Professionals state that over-scheduled kids were less able to use thinking skills that included planning, problem-solving, making decisions and regulating thoughts and actions. Over-scheduling can lead to increased stress, which can result in development of anxiety, depression and sometimes eating disorders, says Lori Osachy of The Body Image Counseling Center.
According to Osachy, over -scheduling can lead to less time with friends, causing loneliness and poor socialization skills.
Over-scheduling can prevent kids from developing frustration tolerance and patience, which are traits children should attain before adulthood.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that children need time that is not governed by the clock.
Osachy states that parents can take steps to keep their kids engaged without being overzealous.
1) Parents can schedule one event for their child and let them pick the rest. Children tend to know their limitation on extracurricular activities and should be able to convey that to their parents.
2) Scale back activities for your child or teen if he or she seems stressed, tired or irritable.
3) Talk to your kids about what they’d like to do during the summer, and don’t panic if they say “nothing”!
4) Let kids be bored and don’t rescue them – they need to learn how to be creative!
5) Don’t forget to take down time for yourself – kids learn through modeling. Get help and support if you don’t have enough time to recharge.
The AAP strongly suggests that a healthy balance in your child’s life should be achieved. Parents should be selective in the organized activities that are chosen. Too many may result in your child not enjoying any of them.