When Kids Overschedule Themselves

So I never wanted to be the mom with the overscheduled kids. I like hanging out at home. But my kids have other ideas.

Fiona signs up for after school classes every day they’re offered, Monday through Thursday. She loves it. They’re at her school, so I love it too – I just pick her up two hours later than usual, no running around required. This year there were no classes on Monday that she wanted to take.

She took one anyway.

She said she didn’t want to be left out, and if her friends were in the class (digital photography) she’d have fun no matter what the class was. My little social butterfly. At least she doesn’t have a commute, and her homework load is still relatively light.

Until this year, Jake was my fellow homebody. The only extracurricular activities he’s ever participated in with any consistency were Tae Kwon Do, which he’s been taking for years, and Robotics, which happened mostly at his school. Perfect.

Then he started his new school, and signed up for Robotics again. And TWO bands. And, still, Tae Kwon Do. Except for TKD, all of it happens at his school, so again, no running around for me. And he takes drum lessons, but those happen at our house.

I talked him out of a computer class, thank goodness.

So now, between homework, and chores, and the 5K training the kids and I have been doing together, and flute and drum practice, and dinner, and a little thing I believe in strongly called time to relax and do nothing, I’m not sure how he’s going to fit it all in without burning out.

But, I also don’t believe in setting limits for arbitrary reasons. I don’t limit TV to a certain amount of time, or say that chores have to take this much time each day. We do an amount that works. So, I’m handling this in a way that puts him in control of the situation.

I made it very clear that if his homework suffers, or if I ever have to drag him out of bed in the morning, or if he has so much to do that he can’t get to bed by 9-ish, he drops out of something.

Maybe he’ll be able to handle it. At that age I would have killed to have all of those opportunities. And it’s still two more weeks until every activity will have started up, so at least he gets a phase in to get used to it all.

He’s so much like me. Lazy at his core, able to sit on the couch like a champ, but a joiner who wants to do everything too. I hope he learns to handle it better than I do!


  1. says

    I love the fact that you don’t manage your kids for the sake of managing them. I am a big believer in managing to results in business and at home with the kids. You are setting them up for long term success in life. Who cares if they watch 15 minutes to much TV if all their deliverables are met :)

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