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Depending upon the age of your children, they may be involved in a myriad of activities. You know the importance of striking a fair balance between allowing children to be involved in activities and having time for the family to spend together. Unfortunately, the children may not agree with your definition of “fair.”

Perhaps your older children are interested in a number of activities. They may want to be involved in baseball, football, soccer, martial arts, gymnastics, softball, basketball, or ice skating. Then there’s band, dance, musical instrument lessons, or voice lessons they’re interested in. Throw in scouting or volunteering and the number of possible ways to be away from home increases even more.

It’s important to make sure your kids aren’t involved in too many activities. Children, like adults, only have 24 hours in each day. They have to attend school and sleep at least eight hours a night. This leaves eight hours for eating, doing chores, doing homework, spending time with family, and then extracurricular activities.

You can choose to limit each child to one extracurricular activity per season. If your child is athletic you might allow them to play two sports each school year as long as they don’t coincide with one another. Do you have a music lover? Allow them to play in the band, but you could ask them to wait until summer to take individual lessons.

How do you maintain balance among the different family members? While you may not favor one child over the other, it may seem that way to your children. Try to spend quality time alone with each child at some point during the month. In fact, you may want to plan a special “date” with each child. This will enable them to have undivided time with you or your partner and squelch any complaints about you not spending time with them.

You’ll also want to be sure you to spend quality time with your partner so they don’t feel left out. Planning a weekly or bi-weekly date night is important for maintaining your relationship. Instead of spending your time talking about the children, take the opportunity to dream about your future.

While you’re spending time with others in the family, don’t forget to take care of yourself. You can’t be expected to be able to meet others’ needs if you’re overly stressed or burned out. A trip to a day spa which will pamper you may be just what you need to rejuvenate.

So, you’ve limited the number of activities each person in the family is allowed to participate in. You are also spending time with each child to ensure they feel loved. Now it’s time to keep all of the activities from cutting into the family’s free time, but what can you do to accomplish this? One thing you might consider is actually scheduling activities for the entire family to do together.

Talk about activities that everyone in the family would enjoy. This could be anything from visiting a museum, going fishing, or watching the latest movie. If your children range in age, you may find it difficult to find activities everyone will enjoy. In this case, switch up the types of activities you choose so everyone has at least one or two activities they enjoy.

Keeping your family running smoothly isn’t easy when each person is running in and out of the house to different activities. You know the importance of striking a fair balance between outside activities and family time – using some of these ideas may help create the balance you seek.

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