The bus has taken the kids to school and now its time to gear up for Fall activities (Gee, parents never get a break!). My kids want to play soccer, baseball, karate, and learn to play the guitar, Wow! Now if there were only 3 more of me.
How do you choose what activities to enroll your child in? A guiding principle for occupational therapists is that people must have balance in their "occupations". Occupations for children involve being a student, a friend, a son/daughter, and other roles that are important to them. As parents, we want to offer our children every opportunity. However, parents must also balance their own life as well as set restrictions on how many extra-curricular activities children are involved in.
For me, balance is very important. If the grades start slipping, the children are more tired/yawning/grouchy, then I know the extra-curricular activities are too much and we cut out one thing at a time to find the just right challenge. Too much of a challenge can lead to anxiety, so it is important to monitor how your child is doing with activities and watch for any personality changes.
Academics are my number one priority during the school year, but physical activity (sports, karate, dance, etc) are also important as it allows release of energy and allow our brains to be calm enough to take in the academics.
About the blogger: Stephanie Wick is a pediatric occupational therapist that founded and is lead O.T. at Learning Charms.
Read past Blog here