Overscheduled kids

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Overscheduled kids
2
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 10:47am
I am really opposed to kids who are overscheduled. My kids are both in dance, some music activity and they have a French tutor once/week (no foreign language available in this wasteland!). Last year dd10 started piano (my initiation) and in school, orchestra was offered and she REALLY wanted to do that. Against my better judgement, she played the cello. First year on two instruments seemed intense to me but she did fine with both. Actually she really excelled. This year in school they add band and chorus. She wants to do both IN ADDITION to the orchestra and piano. HELP! After a long discussion, I have given in and I am going to let her. She knows how tough a new instrument is (she started two last year) and she doesn't seem to have any hesitation! So, here is hoping I get to see her sometime this year, and I am eating my words "I will not overschedule my kids!"
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 3:43pm
Don't you hate eating your own words? I know I do!! It sounds like she understands what she's getting into - I'm impressed btw. Perhaps she has a real future in music, since she is obviously very enthused about all aspects of it. Good luck, please let us know what instrument she picks for band and how she's doing with juggling it all.

Best Always,

Sherrie

Sherrie Rainbow

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 08-31-2003 - 7:38am
It's a tough balance ... you want them to have every opportunity and not miss out on anything, yet there are only so many hours in a day, and the more they 'do' and commit to, the higher their stress level can be (and yours if you are having to run her from one activity/lesson to another.) I think you need to set priorities (help your child set priorities) and then allow them to do other things as long as the 'priorities' are met. For instance, school/grades are a priority. So if school work is completed and grades are good, then doing additional 'things' shouldn't present a problem ... but when the grades start slipping, it's time to re-evaluate.

Kevin (my 11 y.o.) currently is over-extended, IMO. He just started middle school, and all his main subjects are gifted classes (thus, extra homework and more intense.) He's playing on two separate baseball teams, plus takes karate. He started 'band' this year ... doesn't (yet) play an instrument, but he'll start ... and it was 'suggested' that kids who take private lessons outside of school end up performing better and advancing quicker. (Duh! Like that's a revelation.) And, I'm thinking "sure, in what moment?" As it is, our calendar is FULL ... every single day there is 'something' on it, for one kid or another. So, when I'll fit in private music lessons is beyond me ... unless I can find something near something else (like if he could do that while his sister is at tumbling or cheerleading.) Sigh!

I wanted to pull him off one baseball team ... Kevin doesn't want to, and DH is like "a busy kid is a happy kid." Ya think? HE might be happy, but MY stress level goes up when I'm shuffling kids back and forth and all over creation ... I also work outside the home, so my 'free time' is limited. I've set up weekly schedules for my kids (in addition to the color-coded family calendar I post on the 'frig monthly) showing them, by day, what they need to do (including homework and chores) and where they need to be, and what time they need to be ready ... this helps somewhat in saving my sanity and keeping everyone organized.

Sorry ... I'm digressing ...

I think that IF school work is completed, grades are up, chores are completed, and a child isn't stressed, then they probably should have the opportunity to do as many activities as THEY can handle ... with the understanding that if school work slips or chores aren't completed, the thing that has to 'give' is the extra-cirricular stuff. They also should have an 'out' in the event it becomes too much. I don't let my kids 'quit' a team sport mid-season because I don't think that's fair to the other kids. (One of Kevin's baseball teams is a travel ball team, meaning it goes on year round. SO, something like that I would let him quit ... they have more kids than they need, and it doesn't exactly 'end.' Karate is the same. But, his regular season goes from Aug-Dec. For that, he'd have to finish ... then not sign up for the Spring season if it's too much.)

Sounds like a busy kid you've got ... but since this is her decision, she's probably up to the challenge. Good luck.

Nancy

Nancy 

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