Who likes to add more things to that weekly schedule, like extracurricular activities? An overbooked weekly schedule can be so tiring at times. This is more than true when you have more than one child involved. Even though those extracurricular activities may be the first to go when that plate feels overloaded, they will still be tried. Here is why I approve of my kids’ extracurricular activities.
Extracurricular activities and their importance in our lives.
I remember always hearing the saying:
A child that is involved in school activities and sports will be one that will most likely stay out of trouble.
I would think to myself how the child wouldn’t have any free time to do anything otherwise. Although this is partially true, I now know as a parent that there is much more to the meaning behind that famous quote. The child will have something to look forward to and will not be as distracted to misbehave.
You know what? This is not my sole reason for extracurricular activities in our home.
The face of pure joy.
The face of pure joy on my kids’ faces gets me every.single.time. Whether it be Christmas morning or after finishing first in their swim meet heat, that look of personal contentment is worth everything to me. My youngest who is only 3 is on top of the world when she runs across the balance beam without any falter in her ‘Little Hoppers’ gymnastics class. She jumps of the balance beam and starts looking for me. When we make eye contact, she smiles big and starts waving. It is the smallest accomplishments that mean so much to our children.
Finding their passion.
Now, this may not happen right away. I do believe that we are all good at something. May it be running in a cross country race or playing a small composition on the piano, there is something for everyone. My oldest found one of her passions when she 4 years old. After being in swimming lessons, she realized how much she loved swimming. There was something about being in that water that made her glow.
From that point, we let her try out for a competitive swim team. Here we are now, 4 years later, and she is still loving to swim on a competitive swim team. This was not the only thing she has tried. Dance, gymnastics, soccer, softball, as well as piano are a few other things that have preoccupied our time on occasion. Some of these extracurricular activities have stayed while others have been pushed to the side. This is because they were not something she was passionate about.
I believe in allowing your children to try many different avenues when it comes to those extracurricular activities, but we should never push them onto our children. Let them decide if it is something they are truly passionate about. When you force them to ‘love’ it, they will end up despising it. That is the last thing we want to encourage our kids to do.
Be that encouraging parent.
As I just mentioned, we don’t want to force anything upon our children. This is true for us unless they have already committed to the extracurricular activity. I want my kids to understand that being apart of a team means they are there for their team. They can’t pick and choose when they want to attend practice or games.
If they don’t want to attend the practices or put in the work, then they can’t be apart of the team. This is such an important character lesson for our children! Bring them back to the reason why they wanted to do the activity in the first place. Was it for fun? Maybe it was to be with their friends. Whatever the reason, remind them of it.
Be that encouraging parent for your child. When they are passionate for something, help them achieve it. Be their cheerleader on the sidelines. This means more to them than any award or trophy they may receive. Encourage them when it comes to extracurricular activities that they are passionate about.
Approving those extracurricular activities.
It isn’t hard to approve of filling up that weekly schedule with things that make our kids happy. Extracurricular activities that not only encourage our children to be their best selves, but those that lift our child’s spirits in more than one way. Even if you can only find the time for one extracurricular activity, make sure that it is one that your child enjoys and is passionate about. These are the easiest to be accepted by all those involved!