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Ask Denene: Overscheduled Kids

My child is interested in a bunch of after-school activities -- but could he end up overscheduled?

It's tempting to grant our kids' every extracurricular whim. Problem is, they're simply too young to try everything all at once; kids this age can get overwhelmed easily if every second of their day is filled up with back-to-back activities. Pile on too much, and you'll run the risk of turning your child off to sports and programs he might actually have liked if he weren't so booked and tired. And you'll get financially and emotionally taxed, too.

I suggest you sit your child down and get a read on, say, three things he'd really like to try. Then sign him up for one class in each activity. That way, he'll get to test-run his interests. After he's tried them all, let him pick the two he loves best. He'll be doing the things he's interested in without taking up every second of his free time -- and you'll actually be able to afford them.

Then save the rest of his days for some good, old-fashioned downtime (after homework, of course). It's in those moments when they get to chill out and play that our children enjoy the greatest activity in the world -- being a kid.

Ask Mom Squad expert Denene Millner your trickiest parenting questions at Meet the Mom Squad.

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