Healthier Me: Doctors Remind Parents to "Let Kids be Kids" This Summer
As we enter the busy summer season, Sanford Health pediatricians are reminding parents to let "kid be kids". Doctors say sometimes parents try to cram too many structured activities kids into their children's short summer break.
The options can be overwhelming. There are camps, leagues and summer sessions for just about everything you can imagine -- sports, music and even science. But, Sanford Health pediatrician Dr. Chris Tiongson says more isn't necessarily better.
Dr. Tiongson says it can be tempting for parents to think kids get the most benefit from structured activities. He says it will vary among families, but one to two activities is typically enough. He says it's important for kids to have fun. Parents need to watch for signs of stress in their children. And, remember if they aren't having fun -- the benefits can be lost. He says good old fashioned "play time" is not only good for children -- it promotes good health.
Dr. Chris Tiongson says, "I think that's one of the things we miss these days." He adds, "kids need time to go out and play, because that unstructured play is good for their brain and their bodies."
Dr. Tiongson says parents need to monitor their own feelings, as well. He says if parents are feeling overwhelming getting their children to all of their activities... It's probably overwhelming to the kids too.