You and your over-scheduled kid

How much is too much?

Football practice, dance lessons, soccer games and yes, swim lessons – how much is too much for your child? At SwimWest we encourage balance for our swimmers and their parents. Easier said than done though, right? So how can you tell if your child has too much going on after school and/or on the weekends? Not all kids have the same attention spans and interests so, it’s up to you to evaluate your child’s personality and the time she can realistically devote to structured activities, but some signs you have an over-scheduled child are:

  • Acts grouchy, mopey and/or irritable (more than normal)
  • Has a hard time winding down at night
  • Doesn’t have time to finish homework
  • Often breaks down when you’re heading out the door
  • YOU feel overwhelmed from driving back and forth to all the activities

Is being busy really so bad? Aren’t extra-curriculars healthy for kids?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics your child needs a good mix of scheduled activities and some time that is not governed by the clock. Dr. Michael Yogman, a Harvard Medical School pediatrician who led the drafting of the academy’s recommendation to pediatricians, emphasizes that unstructured physical, social or pretend play, create important lessons for kids and give them the chance to make things up as they go. This is beneficial to not only their growing bodies but their developing brains.

How should a parent prioritize their child’s activities or strike a balance?

Know it is okay to say no and be selective in the organized activities you do pick. Also, involving your child in selecting his activities will make him feel listened to and give him some ownership in those choices.

How does SwimWest work with parents so their young swimmers don’t feel over-scheduled?

Listening to parent feedback and paying attention to any concerns our instructors may have on individual children are some of the ways we learn what we can offer our families and how we can help strike that balance between scheduled activities and free-time. Because swim lessons help children master a crucial skill and have fun doing it, it is easy to make it a priority. We offer a lot of flexibility so you can fit it in your child’s calendar including:

  • Year-round, continuous lessons
  • School Schedules
  • Summer Schedules
  • Ability to enroll at any time throughout the year
  • Easy class transfer (no advance notice needed)
  • Simple withdrawal form for when you need a break

Go to our FAQ area at for specific information on scheduling your child for a swim lesson that works for you and your family.