After School Activities: Can We Have Too Much Of A Good Thing?

We live in a world where parents and children are constantly on the go. In addition to going to school, doing homework and doing chores, many children often have a variety of after school activities. Such activities include being on a sports team, playing an instrument, participating in martial arts training, taking dance lessons, participation in religious activities etc. We want our children to be well rounded physically,mentally and spiritually, and we want them exposed to a variety of activities, but the question is–can we have too much of a good thing?

Sometimes children are involved in after school activities three, four, or even five times a week.The truth is that children can become overwhelmed and overloaded even if they enjoy these activities. Too many activities will cause stress in children and will spread them too thin. We all need a breather, we all need down time and quiet time. In fact, there is as much value in quiet time as there is in activity time. In our on the go society we often forget the value of stillness, quiet and self reflection. So, to be truly well balanced, children need time for activities as well as quiet time. Too much or too little of one or the other will result in unbalanced development.


Lawrence Ross Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

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