School

The mistake of using children's after-school activities as a babysitter


Tell me something, how many extracurricular activities does your child have a week? And how many are of your own choice? It usually happens more often than we would like that boys and girls see each other day after day in extracurriculars without them being to their liking and without having time to spend time in the park before they get home. Why? Well, because of how complicated it is to reconcile family and work life. Today we talk about mistake of using children's extracurricular activities as if they were a babysitter.

I recently received an email from the AMPA (Association of Mothers and Parents of Students). Before opening it, the title already promised: the park, the best extracurricular after school. As you may have already imagined, the email said that parents should be aware not to fill our children's entire afternoons with this or that extra class, but rather Ideally, we allow you to spend time in the park after school.

That same thought is the one that Úrsula Perona, child psychologist and disseminator, has made known to us in the meeting #ConectaConTuHijo 'organized by our site, the importance of not overloading the little ones with hundreds and hundreds of activities, some classes to which we must add the homework they have to do when they get home. Doesn't this translate into pressure, stress, and overwhelm for children? It is worth that complementary activities are fine and bring benefits to children, as long as they are to their liking and do not cover every afternoon. However, in most cases the opposite is true.

According to official data, more and more children are attending extracurricular activities and in the words of Úrsula Perona: 'Extracurricular activities should be a complement to regulated education such as sports or music, an activity that must be fun because it is leisure time. The child must choose it so that it is not just another imposition. ' And when asked about the number of hours a child should dedicate to these activities, she responds: 'The recommendations say that children should not dedicate more than 5 hours a weekThat is, at most a couple of activities and much better if one of them is on the weekend. ' Go back to the question I asked you at the beginning, surely now you begin to see everything in a different way.

Continuing with the words of Úrsula: 'You don't have to fill children with extracurricular activities as if they were a babysitter so that we adults can do our things'. It is then that we always make a constructive criticism from the affection. We enroll children in classes after school so that they have the more knowledge the better and the more they achieve success in their professional lives. Or maybe we will sign up for them to arrive on time for work or simply to be able to do our things that are not few. Whatever your answer, if it strays from 'I sign my son up for this extracurricular because he likes it so much' it is wrong.

Overloading kids with activities they don't really need alone translates into situations of stress or insecurity. Children from birth to adolescence or even beyond (let's not forget that unfortunately this stage comes earlier each time) are designed to play, even while learning. After school to play, learn and have fun? Yes of course. But never as a babysitter.

Did you know that there are children who do not visit the park for a single afternoon during the week? Surely yes, you already realized it. You are going to look for your son at school and you are in a hurry from Monday to Friday to take him to football, English, swimming pool, music ... Or maybe he has all these things in the same school and you only go an hour later to pick him up . When do these children play if they are overflowing with after-school activities?

Let's shed some light on all of this. According to Úrsula's recommendations, Ideally, children should not have any extracurricular activities until they pass the infant stage. Once they are in primary school, one or two a week will be more than enough as long as it is to their liking, never due to the imposition of parents or their work schedules. The complicated thing, surely you agree with me, is to balance the working hours to get to school on time to look for the little ones.

And it is so, dear reader, that leaving aside the idea that extracurricular activities are the best of babysitters that we can see our children grow up happy without stress or stress. Worth!

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