The Overscheduled Parent and Child: Finding a Balance

This page is part of our School Newsletter Inserts section.
Use these short articles in your school newsletters throughout the school year.

As parents, we want to give our children opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities. However finding a balance between scheduled and free time is also important.

The constant rushing to activities can increase stress levels for both parents and children. Overscheduled children can be tired and miss opportunities for creative play and making friends. Children and parents deserve to have empty spaces on their calendars. This balance will allow everyone to slow down, feel less hurried, and enjoy life at their own speed.

How do we slow down?

  • Limit your activities. Make guidelines on how many activities you will do a week. If you say yes to too many, the whole family pays the price.
  • Leave empty spaces in your calendar. This will provide you with the chance to spend quality time with each of your children. Free play helps children learn, manage stress and build healthy coping skills.
  • Make family a priority. Family time should be as important as school, sports, and social activities. Have fun together and embrace this time.
  • Be active and eat healthy. Exercise is a known stress-buster. Go for walks or bike rides as a family. This will help build a positive relationship and make you both feel good. Also, families who eat together have better nutrition and talk more to each other.
  • Get enough sleep and rest. Being well rested gives both you and your child the energy to deal with whatever your busy day brings.