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Am I overscheduling my child?

Parents are limiting children’s freedom to play outside.

  • The hurried pace of society is deleting play, especially outdoor play, from the childhood experience.
  • Organized activities, while having their own rightful place in a child’s life, are not the same as free, self-selected, spontaneous play, play that is unorganized and unstructured by an adult. It is during this unstructured time that children unwind, relax, focus, and refresh.
  • During free time children develop leadership and conflict resolution skills. Nobody benefits from over-scheduling. Children can feel as though the focus on activities, instead of on their individuality, is an unspoken criticism of their abilities.
  • Research shows that families trying to maintain this type of schedule tend to have increased anxiety-related disorders and depression, in both children and parents.

Sources: The Children's Nature Institute "Why Nature is Important"; Darlene Maxwell “The Importance of Getting Young Children Out In Nature”, Amanda Morin The Benefits of Under-Scheduling Your Child