The importance of activities in a child's life

April 1, 2010 10:01:37 AM PDT
David Murphy often talks about his acting career. But did you know he was a street hockey player? I was the cheerleading captain and on student council. Matt O'Donnell was president of his fraternity and news director of his campus radio station. Sarah Bloomquist was the overachiever among us. She did everything from school plays to softball and was a tennis champ!

Whatever the activity, experts say it's important for each child or teen to have a moment in the spotlight.

Dr. Barbara Gold M.D. from St Christopher's Hospital for Children says, "There really are a lot of kids who just... academics is not where they're going to shine and it is important for kids to feel good about themselves. And so, I always encourage parents to find something the child is good at that really makes them feel good."

If you feel good about just one thing, you can feel good about yourself. This becomes even more important during those awkward teenage years.

Dr. Gold adds, "Most teenagers... feel pretty inadequate socially and how they look and all that kind of stuff. And if they know that they're good at sports or at that journal club in high school, or whatever, it helps them to resolve all those other issues."

So, how much is too much? Dr. Gold says a student is involved in too many activities if they interfere with their:

    Bedtime Dinner (3 family dinners a week) Downtime (at least 1 hour per day)
If you can't do those things it may be time to cut back on the activities.