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Moms Talk: When Extracurriculars Take Priority

How can St. Louis parents support their children in extracurricular activities while ensuring there's still time for studies and family?

This week's question for parents in , Frontenac, and involves regulating extra-curricular activities for children.

Suppose your teenage daughter arrives home from middle school and announces that on sign-up day, she registered to become a cheerleader and to participate in five other activities. You're impressed by her enthusiasm but nervous about what it might mean for her studies—and your time together as a family.

So onto this week's question: How will you moderate these activities so as
not to take her away from the books too much? Will you put a limit on the number of acceptable activities? Or is there a better option?

More back-to-school coverage on Patch:

Kimberly D. Martino-Sexton August 24, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Middle school is a great time for children to learn through experimentation and hands on experience. One of the most important skills middle school aged children need to learn is the basics of time management. Talking about time management skills will work for some children while others may need to learn through experience. Most middle schools encourage the use of a planner and actively teach students how to use it. We found using the planner for extracurricular activities, chores and homework planning to be very eye opening for our son. He was able to see how he spends his time each day and how much time he spends in certain activities. Try this: Sit down with your child as they map out how and when they will get all of their “stuff” done. Let the child come to the realizations of time management through experimentation. If she signed up for several activities, why not let her try to do it all. You know what the cost will be but she needs to learn for herself in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Encourage her to make a list of the pros and cons, let her decide how many extracurricular activities to join. Be there for your child as she navigates the process, helping her learn from the experiences. A couple of poor grades and exhausted nights at this age are easy to overcome. Learning through experience is the best way to make lasting impressions and change.

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