Overwhelmed by Activities


If you’re overwhelmed by after-school activities, here are a few tips on taming your kids’ schedules.

Keeping up with one child's school events and extracurricular activities is hard enough. Adding more to the schedule as your family grows can quickly overwhelm anyone. The good news is we don't have to live at an unrealistic pace. We control our schedules.

In Luke 10, Jesus meets two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha was running around the house in get-it-done mode, while Mary relaxed with Jesus and His disciples. When Martha gets fed up, Jesus teaches her an important lesson: Instead of trying to do everything, do the most important thing.

Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42)

If you’re overwhelmed by after-school activities, here are a few tips on taming your kids’ schedules:

  • When possible enroll your kids in the same activity so you’re all together at one place at one time.
  • Limit the number of kids involved in activities to one per parent. If you have more kids than parents, rotate activities between kids. For example, two kids play soccer on same team in the fall then basketball in the winter.
  • Another option is to limit your kids to one activity per season.
  • Look at your kids’ calendar and ask this question: Is this my child's schedule or the one I didn't get to keep when I was their age? You've had your childhood. Don't cram their schedule with lost dreams of your own.
  • Is the schedule you are keeping giving your child energy or wearing them down? Encourage your kids to pursue a passion not exhaustion by teaching them to focus on one activity they enjoy at a time.
  • Before committing to an activity, think about whether it will benefit your child long-term. Will this activity be beneficial in a year, five years,10 years?
  • Reserve some white space on the calendar. Give your kids unscheduled time to play outside, catch fireflies and be kids.
  • Learn to say “No.” Just like our Heavenly Father looks out for our best interest, our role as parents is to look out for our children’s best interest. What our kids want and what they need are not always the same. Don’t be afraid to make decisions on their behalf and in their best interest.
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