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The Disadvantages of Extracurricular Activities

By Lauralee Moss ; Updated April 18, 2017
Too much time spent in sports could lead to physical stress.

Students have a variety of extracurricular activities to choose, from speech team to chorus to multiple sports for every season. This variety can benefit students immensely. According to the children's education company Scholastic, extracurriculars let your child enjoy himself in a fun, stress-free environment, get some exercise and make friends outside of school. For all the positive aspects, extracurricular activities can cause some problems for students. Be sure the disadvantages of extracurricular activities do not outweigh the advantages.

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Early Pressures

Starting extracurricular activities at a young age could mean the child burns out early on.

Putting children in extracurricular activities too early can cause burn out. Scholastic states parents should not think that an early start in anything will lead to a career because most children do not grow up to be professional musicians or athletes. Extracurricular activities can teach children discipline, teamwork and other life skills but early involvement might be overwhelming for young students.

This disadvantage can grow into resentment as well. Pushing your child into tons of tennis lessons or dance classes in order to give her a "head start" will most likely lead to her resenting both you and the activity. Later, older children might feel they gave up part of their childhoods. Children could want to quit the sport or activity but fear disappointing their parents. Parents and children should communicate so that young children do not face unneeded early pressures.


If a child spends too much time focused on one activity, she might not develop into a well-rounded individual.

No matter the age, students can become frustrated if they are overworked with school, friends, family and extracurricular activities. Older students sometimes juggle jobs as well. Students need time to study, relax with peers and join family time. Anytime students struggle to find a balance in life, parents should look at their extracurricular involvement.

Students might also be frustrated that they do not have time to grow their talents. If children put too much focus on a few, specific abilities, they might not develop into well-rounded people. To avoid this disadvantage, Scholastic suggests giving your child other options and encourage other interests, so he doesn't feel an overwhelming pressure to succeed at just one thing.

Physical Stresses

Extracurricular activities also place stresses on the child's body.

Another disadvantage of extracurricular activities is physical stresses. Children might not always know how to articulate their physical problems, but Scholastic suggests looking for common ailments. In younger children, over scheduling most often takes the form of irritability, avoiding eye contact and tantrums. In older children, look out for mood swings, recurrent sickness such as stomachaches and complaints about the activities themselves. The activities might cause physical pain, such as leg cramps or headaches. In such cases, seek medical treatment to ensure your child's complaint does not warrant further attention.

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About the Author

Lauralee Moss writes about education, female-oriented subjects and parenting. She writes for Advice for Parenting, Book Rags and other websites. Moss' master's degree research project studied the organizational habits of high schoolers. She is currently developing a new website about switching classrooms and educational theories.

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