Free time: Is the whole day scheduled into watertight compartments where there is something or the other fixed for the child to do? Or are there hours daily where the child is free to do what she likes? Is there time to fit in a leisurely lolling about with friends on the weekend? If your child hardly ever gets time to spend with peers or just doing nothing, this indicates that she is overburdened.
Mood swings: Each child has limited capacity. If pushed too far to take up more than that can be managed, it essentially affects the emotions. Perennial worry about attending this and finishing that may turn a hitherto sunny child into a cranky and irritable being. She may show restlessness and aggression at the straight jacketing. There may be a frequent show of temper too.
Parents often want just the best for their children. Even if the intentions are noble, the child may still become over scheduled. The pressure may result in a burnt out child who won’t be good at anything. Organized activities do help a lot. They improve social skills, teach sportsmanship and discipline. But parents should ensure that these remain fun activities that the child undertakes in the free time and do not overwhelm the child.
Find out a couple of areas of interest of the child. It is important that she does what interests her and not something just to please the parents. Parents can try out a couple of activities. Summer camps are a good place to find out the child’s interests. School teachers can also help as they observe the children more keenly.
Fix up a tolerable schedule that will be easy for the child to manage. A couple of days in a week should be ample. This should be done after taking out time for studies and recreation. It should be made very clear that the studies come first and are not to be neglected. It would be easier if the places are closer to home as you would be saving on commute time. Mark the days on the calendar to ensure attendance.
Do not make attending theses sessions an iron clad rule. If once in a while the kid wants to go to play with the friends, let her miss a session. Sometimes it is more important to just hang out than attend a class even if it has been paid for.