Does your child go to many classes after school? These activities come with their pros and cons. The right kind of classes foster children’s talent, develop social skills, provide exercise, and limit screen time. Nowadays, a long list of extracurricular activities is like a badge of honor for most parents, especially among the middle-class. Parents who find these classes unaffordable fret about how their children lose out on opportunities. Should we overburden our children considering that the Indian educational system already rigorous?
What do children do after they return from school? They eat a snack and freshen up, only to start their tutions, art class, sports class and so on. How much time do they get to sit down, relax, and just play without any structure? Parents worry that kids are wasting their time by not learning something. They forget that many of them spent their childhood running, cycling around the neighbourhood, or played badminton and cricket outside their homes. These were opportunities for them to learn many skills but without structured lessons.
It is not that all after-school activity classes are wrong for children. The problem arises when children’s days pack too many activities. How much is too much?
All children want to do is relax and play for pleasure after school. These extra classes snatch away their leisure time. What are the impacts of an over-packed after-school schedule on children’s minds and bodies?
Not being able to wind down after paying attention all day at school puts a lot of strain on children. Unfortunately, parents fail to identify the cause of the stress, resulting in even more complex situations. Over-scheduling affects children’s grades adversely as well.
Striking the right balance for the welfare of the child.
Consider the following as you schedule your child’s after school activities:
- Ensure that your child’s school life, homework time, and leisure time are not affected by extra activities.
- Intensive activities like sports or theater should not go along with any other activity.
- Children’s sleep should not be affected at any cost. They must get enough sleep for a minimum of eight hours.
- Children must have enough time to bond with family members.
- Extracurricular activities must be stimulating and enjoyable rather than cause over-exhaustion and boredom.
- Does the extracurricular activity add to the quality of their life? Or, does your child make excuses for not going to the class?
If your child has to compromise on any of the points mentioned above, extracurricular classes are not the best choices for them. Parents must stop those that are not deemed necessary by their school. Another option is to wait for a year or two before signing up for new activities. Children gain maturity with age and may become better at handling new social and academic expectations added by the extracurricular activities.