Parents need to assist their children in balancing the amount of time spent doing schoolwork and the amount of time preparing for participation in extracurricular activities. I discourage having students making this decision without the input of their parents. In making the decision, parents should seek information from the sponsors of the extracurricular activities that their children are involved with. Priority should always be given to schoolwork (homework, projects, studying for assessments). Parents need to make sure that stress is minimized, and their children should get plenty of rest.

Many times, students participate in too many extracurricular activities (academics, music and sports). In deciding what activities to participate in, parents need to determine two things. Do their children enjoy the activity? Are they willing to give their best effort? If it is determined that a child is stretching himself or herself too thin, a decision needs to be made to eliminate some of the activities. Parents need to determine which activities could be an asset for their child. These may be activities that can be beneficial for their collegiate education. Activities could also be beneficial to their future career. Occasionally, the activity may be something that a child will enjoy doing in their lives (playing an instrument, playing a certain sport, etc.).

Once a decision is made on the number and type of extracurricular activities a child will participate in, parents need to assist their children in determining how much study and practice time can be allotted for these activities. Student and parent interests should be given top priority. Tell your children to let you know if any individuals are trying to get them to study more or practice more. It is important that parents see the correlation between time spent studying, time spent practicing and the success that their children are attaining.

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