Making Space for Family Time in the Age of Extracurriculars


Spending time as a family creates balance.

As we are slowly coming out of the pandemic life we knew a year ago, how we do find the balance of reengaging in activities without going overboard and back to the whirlwind life we once lived? We need to make space for family time.

What Do You and the Kids Really Want to Do?

Talk to your kids about the activities they want to be involved in. Maybe he or she has been doing soccer or an art class, but in reality, your child’s heart isn’t into it. That’s okay. This may be an opportunity to try something new.

We all want our kids to try a variety of activities, socialize, and expand their horizons. But by narrowing down activities to what is most interesting to him or her justifies the time being spent.

Ask your kids if thew want to engage in all the sports.

What Are the Time Commitments?

If it looks like a new sport or extracurricular activity requires practice or attendance three days a week and time on Saturday, maybe it’s not something you and your family want to do. If participation only means one day a week, that could be more attainable for your time. It all depends on other obligations each week. Make sure you aren’t overcommitting, especially early on.

>> RECOMMENDED RESOURCE :: Guide to Extracurricular Activities <<

When you start agreeing to too much, you realize by the end of the week you are booked and tired. Daily dinners together at home and desired bedtimes are a thing of the past. Make sure to hold tight to your days and evenings at home not only for you, but also for the whole family. You need that time together and a sense of calm and normalcy. Your kids need time to be kids and stay home to play with toys. It’s a simplicity we often forget. Driving to and from a practice several times a week may not achieve that. 

Practice saying no too much so you can spend quality time with family.What If We Say No?

I have seen an increase in the number of activities and events for my daughters to be involved in this year. The flood gates have opened back up and my initial thoughts are to do it all. Yes, we can attend this! Yes, we can be at that! Yes, we can double-book for Saturday!

But wait. At the end of the week, how much time have we actually spent together? It’s okay to say no. We can’t attend that event or we can’t be at the practice today. We need our time together, and our time to simply relax at home.

>> RELATED READ :: Balance vs. Control: It’s Tricky! <<

After much fear of missing out — not only for me, but also for my kids — I learned it’s fine if we aren’t always there. As a family, our time together is a far better return than spending it at activities apart from each other. 

Time is precious, and time together as a family is extremely valuable. Make sure to follow your family values and priorities as you jump back into the new, post-pandemic normal.


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