Organized activities can help children gain skills and self-confidence, but too much structured activity can contribute to anxiety, stress, and depression in children and cause kids to become self-critical perfectionists, reports a 2006 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“You don’t get to know each other because there’s not time to just really be,” says family psychologist Kathleen Kendall-Tackett. “You’re just interacting between activities.”
Ask yourself these questions to help determine whether your family is overscheduled:
- Do your children enjoy their extracurricular activities? Do you enjoy them?
- What does the activity accomplish?
- Is it being done out of habit?
- Do you feel like your kids need to be in activities because everyone else is, too?
- Do your kids spend so much time in activities that you don’t know what else is going on in their lives?