If your children love doing stuff and staying busy, it can be both a blessing and a curse.
You might like that they’re inspired and motivated, but that motivation and inspiration can quickly cause stress in your life.
Plus, activities all cost money, and that can wear on your pockets as well.
Why Some Activities Should be Limited
As a general rule, children are expensive and time-consuming. That doesn’t make them any less lovable, but it can make it, so you have to disappoint them from time to time. That disappointment often comes from not letting them do some of the things they want to do.
When you have a larger family, it can be even more difficult to find time for everyone to participate in sports, band, and other extracurricular school activities, as well as the after-school activities.
You may need to only allow each child one extracurricular thing, and then which one may depend on cost. You may also consider whether it’s in conflict with someone else’s schedule.
Here are a couple of the big reasons some parents may find the need to set limits on their kid’s activities.
Setting Limits to Save Time
Whether your only job is parenting your children, you work part-time, or you have a full-time career, kid’s activities can be time-consuming for you. The more activities and the more children you have, the less time you have for yourself, and for all the work you need to do around the house.
Older teens may be able to drive themselves to practice, so they may have a little more leeway in the amount of activities they can participate in, especially if they have their own vehicle. The only thing that may affect them is the amount of money you have to help them out.
You’ll need to look at what days and times your kids have practice, when and where competitions are held that they need to be able to attend, and the time limits you have to dedicate to these things. If you’re not able to go to their big events, it could break your child’s heart. This could be even more disappointing than not being able to join in the first place.
There’s just not enough time in every day, and it’s not just about the time you, as the parent, have to dedicate to your child’s activities, it’s also how much time they have. If they have chores and homework, and multiple extracurricular activities, they may not get enough sleep at night, or it may begin to affect their grades. Limiting kids’ activities is for their own good.
Limiting to Save Money
Extracurricular and after-school activities are not free, and they are not always cheap. Even girl and boy scout programs require the purchase of uniforms and other items. If your school system has pay-to-play sports, you’re looking at even more money than just a uniform.
You can make a deal with your kids that their allowance goes toward their activities if they really want to do them. This will ensure they’re truly interested and less likely to quit the moment you drop a few hundred bucks, plus it takes some of the monetary stress off of you.
Things to Cut Out Instead
If your children are serious about their extracurricular activities, you could always find other ways to make the time for them and save the money to allow them this little bit of joy.
A child that may have a shot at a sports scholarship shouldn’t be pulled from playing – you’d be disrupting their future.
If your kids like to do stuff other than sit in front of the TV, consider canceling cable. That’s a good $30 to $100 a month that you’ll save which can go toward their passions.
Cut back on the junk food they eat. Letting them make wiser snack choices can save some money as well (and it’s good for their health).
There are other ways to make time for your kids. It doesn’t have to be that you’re giving up something you’re passionate about either. Teach them to make choices that work for them. They’ll learn a good lesson, and they’ll be more likely to enjoy the activity that they did decide to stick with.
Kids Don’t Have to Do Every Activity
While you want your children to have a fun childhood and pursue their passions, you also need to remember that they don’t have to do every activity. If they want to be on the cheerleading squad, in scouts, learn guitar, and join the math team, let them pick two out of the four that they’re most interested in.
Feature image via Little Kids Big Art