Parents could be harming their children by pushing them to attend too many after school activities.
A study has revealed the extent to which family life revolves around extracurricular activities and there are worries it could be damaging relationships at home, shares Daily Mail.
Families are feeling the physical and financial strain as nearly nine in ten children take part in organised activities on four to five evenings per week.
Pressure from other parents and schools adds to families feeling like their children need to have a busy schedule, meaning families spend less time together at home.
‘A busy organised activity schedule can put considerable strain on parents’ resources and families’ relationships, as well as potentially harm children’s development and wellbeing,’ said study leader Dr Sharon Wheeler.
Researchers at York St John University interviewed nearly 50 families from 12 primary schools in north-west England about their children’s extracurricular activities.
They found 88 per cent of children had activities on four or five weeknights, with 58 per cent doing more than one in one evening.
Activities included Scouts and Guides, music, football, cricket, rugby, art, drama, chess and swimming.
The study showed that the children’s extracurricular activities dominated family life, particularly when they had two or more children.
The study’s authors blamed pressure from schools and other families for parents pushing their children to do multiple activities and causing ‘unprecedented strain’.
You know what? I really needed to read this today. I have been feeling nothing but GUILT for not enrolling my nine year old into any sports and have been seriously doubting myself for letting him miss out.
Our 14 year old has footy training twice a week and football on Sunday. Mr 9 only has swimming on a Saturday and after seeing a couple of his mates play footy on the weekend I felt dreadful.
But after reading this, I feel a tiny bit better. We do put far too much pressure on ourselves that’s for sure!
How many after school activities do your children do?
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