To overschedule your child means to allocate too many activities or events to your child. Although, it’s good to schedule your kids for different activities such as house chores, learning a skill, studying their books, running errands, and lots more. but Many parents may not know the harm of overschedule their children.
When activities are overly done, they always have a negative impact. For instance, if your child studies excessively when he supposed to make out time for recreational activity, it might affect his social life. Just as the saying goes all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and all play and no work, makes Jack a dull boy as well.
Sometimes, you as a parent may not be the one overscheduling your kids but the kids have a lot of things to attend to. From schoolwork to church programs and others.
Life as a teen for me was a bit challenging cause I wasn’t social. People knew me to be a very serious girl. My life was easily predictable. If I’m not in school, I will be in church or will be reading after house chores. At night I will have to wake up to read at length. However, it came to a point I began developing migraines at the left part of my head. I was stressed and constantly falling sick.
I experienced a maximum reduction in my weight. It’s was so serious that my younger ones became bigger than I am. My dad noticed this and decided to introduce a book to me so I could manage myself and stress. Yet, I didn’t read it I kept on overworking myself. This lingered till my University days like a cycle I wasn’t social. all was the same old triangular kind of life until I met with friends who made me see reasons for creating free time for myself and enjoying the company of friends.
Furthermore, as I studied books as well, I discovered the need to Stop overscheduling myself and enjoin the company of great friends, nature, and family.
A lot of children suffer from being overscheduled either by their parents or themselves. The need to strike the balance between this is important. Hence, I will be unveiling the dangers of over-scheduling your child and how to balance it.
The dangers of over-scheduling your child include :
1. overscheduling kills your kid’s creativity and Playtime
This is one aspect you need to critically examine. Every kid is born gifted. The creativity of a child surfaces when there is a conducive environment for it and the child receives support from his parents. This is possible when sufficient time is given to the child. These gifts varies, it can range from singing, drawing, to playing football, basketball, singing, dancing, etc. When your child isn’t given the room to develop this gift, it becomes dormant, and their creativity reduces.
What differentiates smart kids from the unsmart ones is simply the exposure, leisure time they enjoy. Therefore, a child should not be denied his/her playtime no matter how critical the situation might be.
It’s even important to have a playground or sitting room for your kids because playtime helps in the mental and physical development of your child.
2. Overscheduling can burn out your child
To “BURN OUT” means rapidly getting exhausted. When your kids get exhausted they won’t be able to do the things or have an interest in other things they wished for.
3. It can lead to severe weight loss.
Overscheduling your kids can cause weight loss. The implication here is a lot of people who are familiar with the size of your child may think your child is suffering or being maltreated having noticed a maximum reduction in their weight.
Symptoms of being burned out are headaches, stomach aches, crankiness, moodiness, irritability.
4. Depreciates their social life
When you overschedule your kids, it can harm their social life. The time needed for them to socialize with friends would be converted to doing an activity. It would be so unfair if your kids can’t socialize with their peers and elders.
overscheduling limits their leisure hours and overtime resulting to them being an introvert.
I had a neighbor then who refused to allow her children to play with other children. All they ever do was to work and work. If not reading, the would be working or attending church programs. Unfortunately, I was opportune to teach in the children’s school then I discovered one of her children, the way she behaves.
Although intelligent, but she wasn’t smart. She was so isolated, while other kids are happy, she looked moody, depressed, and hardly participate in extracurricular activities. That was how bad it was.
5 overscheduling Causes Stress and Pressure
Overscheduling can cause unnecessary stress in the life of your child. It’s very bad to put your child under a high volume of stress because it would affect his academic performance. A lot of parents overschedule their children with house chores that the child has little or no time to study his books. This definitely will affect the child’s performance.
When a child is stressed, it can also affect his performance generally.
6. Missing out on family bonding time
It’s important to bond as a family. It promotes peace and love in the home. However, this won’t be achieved if your child is overscheduled when he falls sick or stressed, such a child won’t be able to participate in the family bonding or outing. Because he will need time to rest or recover back.
Signs to know if your child is been overscheduled or not
When your child is showing some signs of being stressed like easily tired always, it’s a sign of overscheduling.
2. Depressed feeling moody, lonely
Children don’t easily get depressed like that. without a cogent reason. A child is expected to be lively and happy especially when he has all the comfort from home. His needs are provided by his parents so what else should border him. So, when a child is looking depressed, always sad, and lonely, he needs to be checked to know what’s happening.
3. Sickly feeling headache all the time
Migraine is one sign of one being stressed. When a child complains of such always, it means he is being overscheduled.
4. Reduced strength feeling tired
Children are known for their strength and agility. So, the feeling of being tired and weak can be ascribed to an overscheduled kid.
5. Poor Academic Performance
When a child begins performing poorly than usual this needs to be checked. If he is overscheduled.
6. Not hanging around friends and families again
Lonely, depression, and moodiness will never allow one to be social and enjoy the company of others. Especially if the child was known to be one who enjoys others company. When he begins distancing from others, there is a need to check if he is suffering from overscheduling.
Remedies on how to balance it.
1. Be involved in your child’s life
Mothers are known to be one who creates and spend time with their children. Children open up to those who can understand them. Therefore, if you create that opportunity for your child to easily relate with you as you get involved in his life, you will get to know his strength, his weakness, how far he can go with work, what he can do and can’t do, what he is up to and how to help him balance it so he won’t be affected.
2. Set a well-structured timetable
You can help your child have a well structured, planned, and workable timetable. This will help him to be organized and know how to live a balanced life and not being overscheduled. It will go as far as to help him in the future as well.
3. Encourage your child to have time to relax, have fun, visit friends
As you get involve in your child’s life, you are able to encourage him to enjoy the company of his friends and family members. This will help him a lot.
4. Create an eco – friendly environment
An environment that is friendly will help a child express himself. An eco–friendly environment involves you allowing the child to express his thoughts, air his view, opinion, and fears too. It also involves you not been too hard on the child if he fails to perform some chores. He might have done it for reasons unknown to you. Also, such an environment involves engaging the child in games, discussions that will enable the child to feel free to speak up.
5. Shared responsibility amongst all
Most parents tend to over labor just one child. Especially if he is more hardworking and more obedient than his siblings. I was a victim of it!!
My siblings hardly respond to errands and chores at home. I was always available to run errands and work. So my parents always engage me. All this affected me. After doing my chores, I will run errands, comeback to do my assignments, cook, go to church, wake up at night to read, while my siblings don’t do half of what I did. It got to a point I thought I wasn’t my parent’s biological child because I was over labored.
Likewise to avoid this, ensure you share activities amongst all your children. This will help ease the burden on one child than making the child suffering from overscheduling.
ALSO, READ 9 AMAZING WAYS TO DEAL WITH A STUBBORN CHILD