Remember that they're called extracurricular activities because they're extra. Your child's No. 1 priority must be schoolwork, so don't hesitate to make continued participation in sports or clubs contingent on maintaining a minimum standard of academic performance.
Sit down with your child and review her desired activities at the start of each new semester. Decide how much she can reasonably handle, and make the hard choices.
Make sure you and your child are aware of exactly how much time must be committed to a chosen activity. Participation in a high school varsity sport, for example, can involve a great deal more time than just after-school practice. Will there be games on the weekends? How far will your child have to travel to away games and how often? When does the sport's season begin and end?
Try to encourage your child to strike a balance between individual and group activities. Piano, tennis and printmaking are great, but rather solitary. Perhaps your child's interest in art could be developed through creating scenery for the drama club's spring production of "Oklahoma!"
Be sure your child understands that joining a club or team means making a commitment to fellow members and that you expect your child to fulfill that commitment. Barring exceptional circumstances, "it's boring" will not excuse him from sticking out the semester in Scouts.
No outside activities can be just as unhealthy as too many. If your child tends to be a loner, you might want to take the lead and investigate what teams or clubs exist in your area that jibe with your child's interests.
Older children, especially teens, sometimes shortchange family in favor of constant peer activities. Don't let your teen's extracurricular commitments override family dinners, special weekend plans or other important family time.