3 considerations when deciding on extracurricular activities
Written by Cara Poppitt, Founder Soul Connexion
In the current times, as we come out of COVID-19, we all want the very best for our children. It is sometimes hard to know how many extra activities we should do and how many is too much. As we all navigate the many demands in life, we need to remember what we want for our children long-term.
I believe confidence is the best gift we can give our children, as confidence is directly related to the trajectory of their life. With confidence, children can take bigger risks, speak up for themselves, and stand up for what they believe in. With confidence, children go after their dreams. Without confidence, children play smaller, feel insecure and dream less.
As a working mother of three young children with multiple demands, I always remember the intention of putting my children in different activities. I want my children to be confident, capable and successful in life. Extracurriculars are more than just the steps or skills they are learning from the activity, but they are teaching them skills for life they can take with them.
Learning communication skills, teamwork, work ethic, and time management are important skills all adults need to be successful. When children are busy with activities, they are often more engaged in life and have better time management skills. They have focus and discipline that they can apply in school and in life.
If we wonder how much is too much, my answer is always to pay attention to your children after they have their activities and sports. Are they uplifted and excited? Did they live in the moment and learn something new? If the answer is yes to at least two of these questions, keep supporting their activity. Sure, we could all plan to do fewer activities, so things are not as busy. But the flip side often leads to more screen time, more boredom and less fulfillment. Kids are usually bouncing with energy until it is bedtime, so until they run out of energy, consider keeping them enrolled in extracurriculars. It’s time to ensure children are engaged, stimulated, and having fun all while learning new skills that will help them be successful adults.
Three simple considerations for registering for extracurricular activities:
1) Weighing out the pros and cons of activities is helpful when deciding what activities to sign up for. You can think about logistics, scheduling, and skill sets they will learn. Focus on the benefits your child will receive from participating.
2) Discussing what your child is interested in is a great starting point and decide if they like it before increasing the frequency is key. There are so many options available for recreational and competitive teams.
3) Asking your child what the best part of their class or session was and what they learned. This opens up conversation with your child and keeps things interesting. Pay attention to what they are saying when you ask them pointed questions rather than “how was your practice?”
Children learn by playing, so it’s important to open up the opportunities for children to try it all whether it be at home with the family, outside with their friends, or by registering for a program with consistency and support. Children need to play and connect with others.
It’s time to get our children back on track and provide them with opportunities that build skills for life. Take dance as an example, it is a sport that builds confidence, creativity, and character and provides a healthy outlet for children to move and connect with their bodies. Children learn discipline, teamwork, work ethic, and it serves as an emotional, physical, and mental release.
If you are looking for an activity that is fun and physical that offers many skills for life, check out www.soulconnexion.ca for your son or daughter. The boys only hip-hop classes are high in demand as the boys learn coordination, balance, and body control that they can apply to all other sports. Their mission is to inspire growth and they offer classes for all ages and abilities.