Over-scheduling children's summers a bad thing, experts say - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Over-scheduling children's summers a bad thing, experts say

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Keeping children busy during the summer may be a bad thing, according to experts.

After a jam-packed break last year, Joyce Wong Kup said she wanted to try to balance her children's schedules this summer.

“We're just doing a few camps here and there and then the rest of the time we have activities,” she said.

Pediatrician Corinn Cross said with so many children overscheduling during the school year, downtime is critical over the summer.

“A lot of kids get up way too early, they're going to bed way too late,” Cross said. “They're basically scheduled from the minute they wake up until the minute they go the sleep.”

Cross stressed that downtime does not mean screen time. She said kids need a little variety that combines fun, learning and physical activities.

“You say, ok, let's do one week of this camp and maybe you can have one week of downtime, and maybe, you know, three days a week we're going to do some sort of school, academic stuff,” Cross said. “And the other time you can have for you know, Facebooking or Instagraming with your friends.”

Cross also said parents should speak to their children and see what they want to accomplish over the break.

That's what Wong Kup said she's doing.

“I think paying attention to their interests and incorporating the interests and the academic will give them a good foundation for the next school year,” she said.

Experts said it's also good to lay out the ground rules early for the summer so children stick to it.

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