Those ballet classes, or that after-school sport, help students gain confidence and feel good about themselves.

But some families seem to go overboard. Kids who have ballet on Monday, soccer on Tuesday, piano on Wednesday and Scouts on Thursday are likely to collapse by Friday!

Marguerite Kelly, author of The Mother’s Almanac II, says that setting limits on the number of activities outside of school is a good idea. Children in elementary school, she says, “focus so intently on [their] interests that [they] are likely to do better if [they] have only one team practice a week and one practice outside school.”

Choose a class together. Look for something that fits your child’s interests and talents. That will allow him to do well and feel successful.

Your child is likely to focus intently on one thing at a time, anyway. Then, when he feels he’s mastered that, he wants to move on to something else. “That’s fine,” Kelly says. “To dip into many activities, without wringing all he can out of each, would encourage him to be flighty.”

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