Helping your Kid Choose an Extracurricular Activity


Helping your Kid Choose an Extracurricular Activity


School has begun! And, alas that usually means the sports practice, lessons, troop meetings and recitals have resumed. While at times we wish our children could be involved in everything-sometimes our schedules and budgets won’t allow for a myriad of activities, resulting in you and your child to focus on a few key activities. This can be difficult because children’s interests constantly develop and change, which can leave them uninterested in a current activity and wanting to try something new at the drop of a hat. We’ve compiled some tips to consider when choosing a fun, meaningful extracurricular activity for you and your child!

1. School comes first.

We get it- sports and playing with friends can sound a lot more attractive than homework, which is why it’s important to emphasize that school needs to be a number one priority. From the beginning, let your child know that should grades or behavior marks slip- extracurricular activities will go on hold until they improve. This helps your child see an extracurricular activity as a privilege and reward- which also helps their interest in the activity.

2. Know your workload and schedule ahead of time.

Getting a grip on the course load and practice or lesson schedules ahead of time will help both of you determine which activities stay and which ones go. As children get older, their schoolwork can become more demanding meaning that they may not be able to handle as many activities as they used to. Being prepared on what is expected of them and what time commitments are needed at the beginning of the school year will help you and you child plan in advance. Also, be aware of your commitment- know that what they decide to do will also affect your schedule so it’s important you aren’t caught off guard with added practices, performances or games.

3. Try for a variety 

If you child is most comfortable in something solitary like playing an instrument, consider suggesting something with added social benefits such as a team, club or volunteering. Same goes for a child who is only involved in team-oriented activities, a solo activity can help them develop skills within themselves and help reach their full potential. This could even mean suggesting an individual sport like track, in addition to their team activities. By adding some variety, kids will get to remain doing something they enjoy, and try something new with a new group of peers.

4. Remember – Extracurriculars should be fun! 

Extracurricular activities are not just supposed to instill character, they’re also supposed to be fun. If kids aren’t having fun or showing any interest in a given extracurricular activity, then help them find another one. Kids need time to have fun away from school just like adults need time for fun away from the office. Weigh how enjoyable a given activity figures to be for your youngster before signing them up. You can even try some of these with them at home- be it a trip to the park to try out soccer, finding a friend who plays an instrument who could come visit your child and talk to them about it or even asking other kids and mom’s about the activities they would recommend and why.

Post adapted via The Neighbor Newspapers online.