As parents, we all learn early on from books, family members, friends, pediatricians, and others that activates are good for our kids. They help with motor skills, build social skills, and overall development. But when is the right time to start taking extracurricular activities seriously?
If your family is anything like mine, there is never a dull moment. There are days where I feel like I have been going 100 miles an hour yet didn’t accomplish much on my to-do list. A frequently asked question for either my husband or me has been “do your kids play (insert a sport of extracurricular activity)?”
“How will I fit another thing into our jammed packed schedule?”
“When is the right time?”
“Are my kids missing out on not being a part of an extracurricular activity?”
Like most things with parenting, there is not a one-size fits all answer. Every family has to make the best decision they can with what they have in front of them. Extracurricular activities, those that are outside of school, are a great way to meet friends, both for your child and for yourself, and enhance your child’s development.
Some considerations when choosing an extracurricular activity:
- Is your child showing interest in something specific on his or her own?
- Exposure to many things initially is a good way to let them naturally gravitate to what they like and have an excitement for.
- Trial classes are wonderful. The beginning will be challenging, and your child will need you there for support and guidance.
- Encouragement is important without being forceful. That could cause to your child to not want to engage in any activities later on.
- Teachers/coaches/trainers matter. Finding the ones who have a passion or love for the activity instead of just succeeding/winning will give you and your child the most fulfillment and growth.
- Do what you can and don’t compare to others. The worst thing you can do is be pressured to put your kids in an extracurricular activity and be stressed about it which will then lead to your child being stressed. This is supposed to be a fun activity! I am not saying all stress is bad, but the wrong kind can be toxic.
The best thing to do if you are wondering when to get serious about an extracurricular activity is to just start. The rest will work itself out and you will see when your child is truly excited and enjoying the activity. It will be a fun event and not a choir for you and your family to be a part of as a whole and allow your child to discover himself or herself.