Signs And Symptoms You’ve Overscheduled Your Kids

Nov 2, 2016

Overscheduled-itis (pronounced over-sched-uled-i-tis) is a common syndrome experienced by many families with insanely busy kids. It usually involves rushing around, freaking out, sometimes speeding and, quite possibly, hives.

Overscheduled-itis is not contagious, but may make you unpleasant to be around. The good news is, if caught early, it is completely treatable with some self-care approaches and a good merlot.


You may realize you have developed overscheduled-itis if:

  • You arrive at ballet on time — only to realize your child is still at soccer.
  • Your child arrives at his violin lesson in his bathing suit and goggles.
  • Your kid starts to call the car “home”.
  • The Grade 4 orchestra is actually starting to sound not bad.
  • You’ve crashed Google Calendar — again.
  • Your child can speak four languages, but has no friends.
  • You have to explain to your kids the meaning of the word “play”.
  • You sleep in the car.
  • Your child has a play-date wait list.
  • You hope your child catches a cold just to make it all... please... stop!!!

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Your family may have developed overscheduled-itis because:

  • Your kid wants to join everything.
  • Your kid doesn’t want to join anything.
  • Your friend’s daughter is fluent in French so yours must learn Mandarin.
  • You always wanted to learn to play the piano.
  • Your child doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up.
  • University is really competitive these days.

When To See A Doctor

Seek medical attention immediately if:

  • You find yourself starting to think about registering for more activities.
  • You start to casually inquire about the best place to sign up for hockey.
  • You have had more than 3 speeding tickets this year.
  • You find yourself thinking of having another child — just so you can sign up for more things.

A doctor with a stethoscope writes on a clipboard as a female patient waits in the background
Photography by Karuna EM ©


The treatment for overscheduled-itis varies, depending on how it presents. In addition to the lifestyle and home remedies, most treatment plans include one or more of the following:

  • Staying home with your kids and eating ice cream.
  • Doing nothing at least twice a week.
  • Checking the refund policy on some of your child’s activities.
  • Being spontaneous with your children.
  • Asking yourself how YOU would like to spend the evening.

Long-Term Prognosis

Overscheduled-itis is a curable condition. If you suffer from this malady, know that, with treatment, most sufferers can go on to enjoy a chill lifestyle, while still helping propel their children to become the successful ballerina, basket ball player, or black belt you dare dream them to be.

Article Author Laura Mullin
Laura Mullin

Read more from Laura here.

Laura Mullin is a playwright, director and the Co-Artistic Director of Expect Theatre and PlayME Podcast. Laura is passionate about the arts and works in theatre, film, and new media. She lives in Toronto with her writer/producer husband and their budding fashion designer nine-year-old daughter. When Laura isn’t writing plays or turning them into podcasts, she can usually be found picking up tin foil and duct tape off the floor after one of her daughter’s many avant-garde art projects. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @expectlaura.

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