As parents, we only want what’s best for our kids. From trying to get them to eat somewhat nutritious foods and get all the rest they need, to deciding what extracurricular activity is best. Or if they should do them at all. It’s a tricky course to chart, and we are often left feeling unsure of ourselves. Always wondering if we are making the right decisions.
With two kids in after-school activities like karate, soccer, and dance our schedules are full. So, when my daughter told me she didn’t want to go to dance class anymore, secretly I had a wave of relief wash over me. But, she loves to dance. She dances around the house and makes up cheers all the time. Her Netflix is all cheer, dance and gymnastics movies. Of course, she told me this after we had already enrolled for the new year. Then we had a tough first two weeks of kindergarten, so I let her skip the first two classes.
We talked about it a lot; she is only five, but I figure she knows what she likes to do. I decided on a compromise, I mean isn’t that what 95% of parenting is? We discussed that she had to try at least two classes and if she didn’t like it, we could stop. But she had to pick something else to try. We went to one class at our dance school and another one at classmates’ dance school for “bring a friend” week. While she did have fun, she said she still didn’t want to go to class anymore. Instead, our plan is to try karate and soccer in the spring. She loves her older brother’s karate teacher and is super excited about starting.
Kids and After-school Activities
The great news is she’s five, and I figure she has lots of time to figure out what she loves. And if you are in the same parenting boat, try to let your kids decide on their after-school activities but don’t let them quit everything. Participating has a whole host of benefits:
Strengthens decision-making skills by allowing kids to figure out what they are good at and what they enjoy doing.
Boosts their confidence when they get to participate in activities they love. And that confidence will overflow into other areas of their lives.
Get social. After-School activities let kids interact with each other outside a classroom environment.
Finding their passions. When discovering what truly lights a fire within them, they become empowered.
Ultimately though the decision is up to your kiddo and for you to figure out if they don’t like the activity or if there are other issues, like bullying. Another make sure your child knows you are proud of them for trying no matter what they choose. And be supportive.
Ideas for after-school activities, it doesn’t have to be a team sport. There are lots of options for kiddos these days, local mom groups on Facebook are an excellent resource for that kind of information.
- Music Lessons
- Crafting Classes
- Martial Arts
- Ping pong
- Photography Clubs
- Water Sports
- and so many more!
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