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    Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Nurtition, Exercise, and Weight

      This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff in collaboration with Sanford Health Systems.

    Is Your Kid Too Busy?

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    Which could be a sign that your child is doing too much?

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    Which could be a sign that your child is doing too much?

    • Your Answer:
    • Correct Answer:

    Your child may not tell you she feels overwhelmed with activities and school work. But headaches or stomachaches could be signs that she's feeling stressed. Is she not eating well? Is she moodier than usual? Not sleeping so well?   

     

    It may be time to cut back on some commitments. Sit down with her and map things on a family calendar so you can see how much is going on. Decide together which activities are more important and then limit them to a few days a week.

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    How often do children need free time?

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    How often do children need free time?

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    • Correct Answer:

    Kids should have at least a little time every day when they can do anything -- or nothing. Encourage your child to read, listen to (or make) music, ride a bike, or take a walk -- whatever helps him recharge his batteries.  No matter how old they are, kids need time to relax.

     

    And TV, video games, and computer time don’t count as relaxation. Work with your child to limit his screen time to less than 2 hours a day.

    Are kids really busier than they were 30 years ago?

    Are kids really busier than they were 30 years ago?

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    • Correct Answer:

    It depends on the kid, but between homework and activities, kids have been having less and less free time since the early '80s.  If your child is already super busy, think twice before he adds on another sport, lesson, or club.

     

    Along with time to recharge during the day, you should make sure your child has enough time to settle in for a good night’s sleep. Help them make time to do something relaxing, like a warm bath or reading, before lights out.

    If your kid is hyper and getting in trouble, it could be a sign he’s overscheduled.

    If your kid is hyper and getting in trouble, it could be a sign he’s overscheduled.

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    If your laid-back kid is suddenly hyper or your well-behaved child now causes trouble, it could be stress. A change in behavior can mean there's too much going on and your kid is having trouble handling it.

     

    Help him deal with stress in a healthy way -- taking walks, listening to music, or doing yoga can work well.

    Which activity helps children's grades the most?

    Which activity helps children's grades the most?

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    • Correct Answer:

    Playing sports or a musical instrument can help a child get better grades. But the simple act of eating dinner together at home seemed to better predict whether kids would have higher scores in school, according to one study.

     

    So while it may be tempting to pile on the extracurriculars to help your kid get ahead, the answer is to slow down! Schedule family dinners whenever you have a night without practices or meetings.

    This can help cut stress:

    This can help cut stress:

    • Your Answer:
    • Correct Answer:

    Keep a family calendar of everyone's commitments. There should be some days without anything on the schedule. Let everyone have some free time. Having time to recharge and relax is part of living a healthy life.

    Quitting an activity or sport mid-season is a bad idea.

    Quitting an activity or sport mid-season is a bad idea.

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    • Correct Answer:

    Forcing kids to "stick with it" doesn’t always teach perseverance or commitment.  It may set them up for a lifetime of overcommitting.

     

    Learning how to balance activities and school is an important life skill, too. Talk to your child about why she wants to quit an activity. If her grades or well-being are at stake, consider letting her drop out.

     

    Next time, help make sure she knows what she's getting into before she signs up. If she knows what to expect before she starts, it also may make her more likely to stick with it.

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    Great! You know how to keep busy kids healthy.

    Good job. You know that part of being a fit family is giving kids time to recharge, too.

    Looks like you learned some things about helping your family find a better balance.

     

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