Parents often jokingly describe themselves as chauffeurs for their children, and that’s not too far off—between baseball practices, dance lessons, and after-school tutoring sessions, the modern kid has many obligations. The busier they are, the more successful they’ll be—or so the theory goes. If it all feels like a little too much, it just might be. There’s no doubt that activities do provide a developmental benefit, but not all kids thrive with a packed schedule.
Spotting Stressed-Out Kids
How do you know if your child is spread too thin? Kids won’t always speak up, especially if they feel that dropping an activity would disappoint you. Those who are being pushed beyond their comfort limits to the point of anxiety may show the following symptoms:
- Disrupted sleep
- Lack of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Avoiding family and friends
Less Can Be More
If your busy child seems frazzled instead of flourishing, don’t be afraid to try the “less is more” approach. FOMO—or “fear of missing out”—is something many adults might experience these days. But what your child may be missing out on is high-quality family time with no agenda, the kind where you make dinner together, work on an art project, or just chat.