It makes my head spin to think about the kind of schedule some kids these days keep. School, after-school care, homework, dinner, sports or dance once a week, swim lessons or another activity twice a week, games, birthday parties and campouts on weekends. The range of extracurricular activities available to children today is mind-blowing, but of course we want our kids to have everything. But Jill Connors, mom of five, says, “I know friends whose kids are in school that are so scheduled that anytime they are home they are ‘bored.’”
Back to school means a return to extracurricular activities for many children. Some children are out of the house nearly every night of the week. I have worked with children and families as a resource coordinator and mentor for many years. When parents come to me with academic or behavioral concerns regarding their children, I quickly ask what they are involved in after school. If the list is long, my advice is usually to scale back and see if things turn around.
Parents often ask the following questions: Is enrolling my child in extracurricular activities in addition to school or camp a good thing? How many activities are considered too many? What do I do if my child doesn’t like the activity even though I know it is good for them? How do I choose the best activity for my child when there are so many different activities available?
Being away from home and loved ones causes feelings of homesickness in almost everyone. As many as 95 per cent of kids experience mild sadness, and some feel intense, long-lasting distress. Younger kids and those who have never spent time away from home have the most trouble at camp. You may be worried that your attempts to comfort your homesick child will only make the problem worse.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2019 Calgary’s Child