Parenting Connection: How to manage after-school activities

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It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Managing after-school activities.

Child development experts say, after-school activities are highly recommended for numerous reasons. Many highlight that sports, dance, theater, and music can teach things they can’t be taught inside a classroom or at home, and believe exposes kids to a lot of new opportunities and challenges.

That being said, child development experts also say parents need to be cautious about how many activities fill their kids schedule, and if whether or not they actually love it. Kendra Moyses, a child development expert at Michigan State University says parents sometimes feel pressure to get their kids involved and put an overload of activities on the schedule, that can backfire.

“It’s hard to say how many activities are too many, but when you get to a point where your kids are either dreading going or seem too exhausted then it may be time to look at the schedule.”

Experts at MSU’s extension offer these suggestions to create an appropriate and realistic schedule for your kids.
*Allow time for relaxation and free play.
*Listen to children’s feelings. It’s important to identify when your kid is feeling stress on something that is suppose to provide enjoyment.
*Consider cost and time commitment for certain activities. If something is taxing you and your kids more than helping, it may not be worth the stress.
*Schedule family time. Research shows this is extremely important no matter how busy you all get.

Experts say, after-school activities will greatly benefit kids, but they shouldn’t cause quality of life or grades get negatively impacted.

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