New research seems to indicate (through correlation, not causation) that fewer structured activities may be better for children. Fewer classes, teams, practices and groups may lead to children with higher functioning and more success. More opportunity for unstructured, free time to choose their own activities and figure out how to do them on their own may lead to children with better planning and decision-making skills and better self-direction and control. This may also decrease parents’ stress of organizing and supervising so many activities. Just the drop in carpool and scheduling demands can be a huge relief for parents.
You can read a brief article summarizing the research here.
If you’d like to explore how you can give your children more unstructured play time and feel good about the growth it will provide, come in and chat. Often, parents feel so much pressure to have their kids in one activity after another – a sport, a music, a hobby, – they lose sight of the benefits of allowing children to explore their worlds on their own. You can free yourself from that pressure, give your children what they want, and be the parent you want to be.