Too Many Extracurricular Activities Can Do More Harm Than Good

Doing activities outside of school hours can make kids well-rounded, as long as you don’t overdo it. For a study published in the journal Sport, Education and Society, researchers interviewed almost 50 families from twelve elementary schools in England. They found that 88 percent of children took part in organized activities four to five days per week, and 58 percent did more than one in an evening. They found that extracurricular activities were dominating family life, especially for families with more than one child. Study lead author, Dr. Sharon Wheeler comments, “[…] Parents initiate and facilitate their children’s participation in organized activities as it shows they are ‘good’ parents. They hope that such activities will benefit their children in both the short-term […] and longer-term […] However, our research highlights that the reality can be somewhat different. While children might experience some of these benefits, a busy organized activity schedule can put considerable strain on parents’ resources and families’ relationships, as well as potentially harm children’s development and well-being.”