How many Extra Curricular activities does your child really need

When mommies meet, they talk about school and they talk about the talents of their kids. A lot of kids I know are super talented. They play every kind of sports, can sing, dance, draw and do pretty much everything. Makes other mommies a tad jealous. 
So I find myself thinking...do kids really need so much 'talent'? Is it really necessary for the child to learn to play the piano, sing, paint, play cricket, swim and dance all at the same time? Doesn't the child need rest atleast one day of the week....atleast? Should I let my kids get into a competition mode and excel at everything? 
Now I need to think straight....what is it that I expect? That my child is honoured as the best child in the world? That I get applauded and a pat on the back for giving birth to and raising a brilliant child. Or am I planning for the future.....perhaps admission to a high profile college on a scholarship or a super duper spouse for my child. Hmmm.....Really have to think this over.
And then I put myself in my child's shoes.....do I really want to go back to a 'class' after school every day of the week? I mean who likes that? Would it really make my child a better person......all the talents he has or by just letting him be? 
I am not saying that a child should not be engaged in any extra curricular activities at all, just about how many they need at any given point in time. Yes, we may have a Sachin Tendulkar or a  A.R.Rahman in the making, but how will we know if we push them to do several things at a time? And then not follow up on it. Yes, we enrol them in a drawing class for a while and then what? How many of us out there are following up on the activities we engaged in as youngsters. Very very  few, I am sure. 
And why not just focus on the one or two things that your child is really interested in and let them excel in that. After all, if we think about it, most often we make our kids go through things for ourselves rather than for them, isn't it?

– By Sheeba Rajam

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