Hustling your child from ballet recitals to T-ball games and scouting events to theatre rehearsal may not be the best way to raise a well-rounded child, says a University of Georgia child development specialist. “The concern developmentally with overscheduling is young children through elementary school still learn a lot through play,” said Diane Bales, a child development specialist with UGA Cooperative Extension. “That unstructured time, the opportunity to make their own decisions and set their own rules, is very important. Kids who have a lot of [organized] activities have less of that free time.” Playtime is learning time“The perception adults have about play is it is something kids do when they aren’t doing something important,” she said. “Actually it is one of the most important things they do.”Children learn best through active exploration, Bales said, “what we call play.” Children who don’t get enough time to play often have trouble making decisions when they get older. In a 2007 report in Pediatrics titled “The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds,” researchers said that play contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well being of children and youth.“Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts and to learn self-advocacy skills,” the report went on to say.“We’re starting to see children who can’t play well,” Bales said. “They’re always wanting an adult to tell them what to do, when to do it and how to do it.”According to Bales, children who play less are less creative as they get older and have trouble developing more complex problem-solving skills.“Children who are given opportunities to play make decisions, choose an activity, plan and come up with creative solutions,” Bales said. “Those skills can be helpful later on when you have to make decisions and evaluate situations.”Extracurricular activities? The scheduled activities children participate in are valuable too, Bales said, but there needs to be a balance. “There is no magical number; different families have different tolerances for busyness and so do children,” she said.Stress levels tend to rise in families with children who participate in multiple extracurricular activities. “Children perceive this stress,” she said. “There is a lot of research that children behave differently when there is stress in the family.”Competitive sports may not be the best fit for small children and can add to the stress in the family. “Very young children, under age 6 to 7, are not naturally competitive. They don’t have the drive to compete,” Bales said. “When adults are pushing too hard for them to be competitive it can add a lot of stress to the situation.”If children are unhappy with the number of activities they are involved with, consider taking a break. Choose some activities that aren’t structured or that don’t adhere to a strict set of rules. Consider art classes over piano or a mix of scouting with soccer.
Ewan turned the tables in stage 11, though, edging Groenewegen by centimeters in the 167-kilometer race from Albi to Toulouse, with Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) finishing third.Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) maintained his 72-second lead on defending champion Geraint Thomas (INEOS) in the general classification standings.The pair avoided the carnage that saw Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie) forced to abandon the race after a nasty crash.But the day belonged to Ewan who bided his time before making a late charge up the inside to deny Groenewegen.Podiums Stage 11Podiums Étape [email protected]@[email protected][email protected] #TDF2019 pic.twitter.com/xSmXGjYv0T— Tour de France (@LeTour) July 17, 2019″I can’t believe it,” Ewan told Eurosport. “I’ve been close in the last four sprints that I’ve done, and my team never lost faith in me. I never lost faith in my sprints. I knew that if everything came together I could be the fastest on the day.”There’s no other race that I’ve dreamed of winning as a young kid. The Tour de France was so distant from Australia, something that we just watched on TV, [winning is] a real dream come true for me.”Ewan’s emotion was on full display after he crossed the finish line, the rider screaming with joy as he was mobbed by Lotto Soudal teammates and officials.After a rest day, riders were ready to attack the flat stage. And it was a group of four that made the breakaway, Cofidis pair Stephane Rossetto and Anthony Perez joined by Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie) and Aime De Gendt (Wanty-Gobert).With just over 10km of the stage remaining, De Gendt stormed ahead, but he was eventually hauled in with 4km to go. Another bunch finish then seemed likely and for Ewan, it represented a chance to make up for his near-misses. It was one the Australian took with both hands.STAGE RESULT1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 3:51:262. Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) same time3. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) “4. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) “5. Jens Debusschere (Katusha Alpecin) “CLASSIFICATION STANDINGSGeneral Classification1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 47:18:412. Geraint Thomas (INEOS) +1:123. Egan Bernal (INEOS) +1:16Points Classification1. Peter Sagan (BORA-Hansgrohe) 2572. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 1843. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) 174King of the Mountains 1. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 432. Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal) 373. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 30WHAT’S NEXT?Riders are back in the mountains Thursday over a 209.5-kilometer stage from Toulouse to Bagneres-de-Bigorre that contains two category one climbs. Australian Caleb Ewan said it was “a dream come true” to break through Wednesday and post his first career stage win at the Tour de France.The Lotto Soudal sprinter — competing in cycling’s most iconic race for the first time — finished third in stages one and four before being edged at the finish line by Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) in stage seven.