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Maria Lin

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10 Signs Your Kid Is Too Busy

Posted: 02/ 5/2012 12:44 pm

We've all heard about the signs to look out for if your kid is using drugs -- the glassy eyes, spending less time with friends and family, apathy towards everything -- but what if the culprit isn't pills but programming -- too much of it?

The epidemic of overly-scheduled kids has caught the attention of educators, doctors and child psychologists over the past few decades. And not surprisingly, overscheduling kids leads to the same stress-related health and psychological problems that overscheduled adults experience. According to research, most kids who are overscheduled have parents from an educated, higher income bracket -- and they tend to be girls.

There's a middle ground, though, between back-to-back dance classes, soccer games, band practice and church group, and the other extreme: undirected hours of unfulfilling TV watching and phone talking.

How do you know if your kid is too busy? Watch for these signs:

You Never See Your Kid Just Doing Nothing
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Replay some mental pictures of your child over the past week. If all your images are of him or her on the go--heading to an appointment, on the way back from one, doing homework, practicing an instrument--and there are not many moments of quietude and relaxation, your kid is too busy. "Every hour kids come into my office and throw themselves onto my couch complaining that they are overbooked with too many appointments," says Dr. Fran Walfish, a child psychologist and author of The Self-Aware Parent: Resolving Conflict and Building A Better Bond with Your Child. "All they want is down time," she says.

 

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