Insight or Perspective: “Overloading children with activities could be detrimental health”

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By Eleni Elefterias

At some point every well-meaning parent comes to a realisation that something has to give. Little Sevasti can’t do Ballet and Greek dance and Greek class and English tutoring and Maths competition and Chess club and Tennis without burning out at the end of each week.

We, as parents, must decide what is important for their health and what ideals are important to our family. You must decide the culture of your family, the familial culture.

Is the acquisition of the Greek language important? Is tutoring important for a child slipping behind at school? Maybe there could be a focus on certain activities at different times of the year. For example, swimming in the summer months, football in the winter months, academic tutoring only for a short time rather than being stuck in coaching forever.  

Also, using Greek classes as a child-minding service is a not on. You may as well not take your child to Greek lessons, especially if you don’t plan to follow up on homework, or at least do some reading with them and have the child prepared for their next lesson. This is one reason children play up in class and interrupt others who are interested in learning. When children see their parents not taking an activity seriously then neither will they.

Be consistent. No use screaming at children to complete their homework and then allowing them to get away with not doing it and playing their electronic games instead.

Children know how to manipulate situations with parents. Parents often become frustrated and give in. Remember if your expectations for your children are low so will the outcomes be in all areas of their education not just for speaking Greek.

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