Make time to just be

Make time to just be

Remember the days when kids went to school, came home for lunch, attended sport or cultural activities for an hour and then played in the streets till dark? Those were the days…

We all know that kids should participate in extracurricular activities, but the question is when is enough too much?

As with everything, peer pressure (for both kids and their parents) results in two types of extra-curricular activities: those the kids choose to do; and those parents force them to do (to prepare them better for their illustrious future).

Your son may be perfectly happy to play cricket and then ‘chill’, but your best friend’s son is doing specialised hand-eye co-ordination training that will definitely make him the next Jonty Rhodes. This leaves you with a bit of a dilemma, because you obviously don’t want your son to miss out on this opportunity. As a result of your ambitions, you end up travelling an hour every week for an extra half an hour training session, fighting all the way with your reluctant child. Does this sound familiar?

It’s all about (the) balance

Participation in extra-curricular activities, especially those offered by the school, should not be optional for any child. Managing the number of activities however is crucial.

When extra-curricular activities interfere with academic performance, cause constant arguments between you and your child, make your child anxious and influence your child’s happiness and general well-being, it is time to let it go.

Younger children should be exposed to many different activities to find their passion and talents. From the age of 11/12 years old, the focus should shift to fewer activities and more focused effort.

The key, as with everything in live, is balance. Find the balance between academics and extra-curricular activities and remember to allow your child the time to – ‘just be’.

You might want to read about when to study and when to sleep.


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