PARENTS

How Many After School Activities Does Your Child Do?

09/03/2011 19:10 | Updated 22 May 2015

I was talking to another mum recently in the playground, who was telling me about a great new drama club her children had started on Saturday mornings. It emerged that the reason they were going on Saturdays was because every day during the week was taken up with after school activities.

The mother was spending every day ferrying them to this and that, and hours of her own time waiting to take them home. But she wasn't bothered, because she felt that this is how life is today for parents of school age children.

What do you think? Is running Mum's Taxi Service an inevitable part of life as a parent? Is having a timetable you need a degree to understand a part of your family's life? How many activities are too many?

My ten-year-old daughter is a busy bee, with drama club after school on Monday, and dancing on Wednesday, then keyboard lessons on Friday lunchtime. All of these are at school, five minutes' round the corner, so I'm let off taxi service. At one point she was in the school choir as well, but I could see that she was getting stressed with too much to juggle, so that stopped. If she wanted to do anything else now, I would only allow it if she dropped an activity.

My six year old son doesn't do any after school activities at all. He is quite a reserved character and says firmly: I don't want to be with any grown up who's not mummy. So whilst I would love him to try out a club because I think it would build his confidence, he's just not interested right now. So he visits friends, or they come for tea, or we play in the park or just chill out at home. You know, the kind of stuff kids used to do before after school activities were invented.

Over at Ready for Ten, parents were agreed that less is more when it comes to after school clubs. But is it our duty as parents to encourage our children to do things that will benefit them in the long run? Is it better that they're out and about doing things rather than slumped in front of the TV? Or do children today have too much on their plates already, and need more time to relax?

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