By: Melissa Pearce, Founding Attorney
When it comes to extracurriculars, one disagreement among parents is the number of activities. On occasions, parents present us with a schedule for their children that has them running from early in the morning until bedtime with no time for schoolwork.When this type of schedule is presented to our team, the question arises “How do I limit the number of extracurricular activities that my child is doing?”
When parents are divorced, the answer to this question is not always easy. Extracurricular activities have positive benefits for children. These benefits can include being able to socialize with friends, develop talents, and learn lessons that cannot be taught from inside a classroom. However, there are risks that can be associated with the participation which could leave along-lasting negative impact.
Before you file a motion to limit these activities, please consider these tips to reach an agreement outside of the courtroom.
- Enroll your children in age appropriate activities. Typically,these kinds of activities have minimum participation ages. Enrolling your child in something above their level can be strenuous on them and can be more harmful than helpful.
- A full physical examination will ensure that your children are physically capable of participating in the sport to prevent any injuries.
- Volunteer at school events. This can help you and your child make connections with other community members on a more consistent basis.
- Monitor your children’s grades to ensure their education is not suffering due to time constraints and pressure. Education should come first for the children.
- This will allow your child to have more time to complete school work and be active in family activities.
- Ask your children why they want to get involved in certain activities and continue to ask your children if they still want to continue doing those activities, especially as they take on advanced school courses or additional responsibilities.
- This will allow time for your children to keep up on their school work and prevent exhaustion from lack of rest.
When seeking the court’s assistance on deciding the number of extracurricular activities, the argument should focus on what is best for the child rather than an intrusion into parenting time. In Michigan, the courts focus on what is best for the child first and foremost.
Participation in extracurricular activities is good for a child. They should participate as they are able so that they may learn to be more well-rounded for adulthood. There are somethings that we as parents cannot teach that much be experienced. Children gain lessons from participation in these that cannot be learned at home or in the classroom.
If you cannot reach an agreement with the other parent on how many extracurricular activities is reasonable, contact the team at Melissa Pearce & Associates for assistance. We are here to help you redefine your family.