Now that school is in session, parents have to make some major decisions as it relates to their children and extracurricular activities. It can sometimes be overwhelming. Parents must use extreme care in finding the right balance between their child’s school work and involvement in extra activities. Here are some helpful tips that may be of assistance.
How many days will this activity meet and for how long? – If your child is spending more time on outside activities than on school work, that might pose a problem in the long run.
Is this something that they really want to participate in or is it something that you did when you were their age? – Your child’s aspirations may not necessarily be the same as yours. Give them guidance but don’t force them into something that is your dream and not theirs. For example, don’t automatically assume that because you were a football player that your son will want to go down that same path.
What are the costs involved in the activity? – Whether playing on a sports team or playing an instrument in the band or orchestra there are often costs involved for uniforms, instruments, field trips and other miscellaneous items. Will this be costly to your household budget?
Are their grades suffering? – It might be wise to let your child know that if their grades begin to fall, extracurricular activities will have to be cut back or eliminated until their grades improve.
What other non-school activities are they involved in? – This might be church activities or with organizations such as Boys and Girls Scouts. These groups offer good programs for young people.
Participating in extracurricular activities should not necessarily be a given. Let your child know what is expected of them. Before letting your children jump into them, count the cost literally as well as figuratively. It is a sacrifice and time commitment.
While extracurricular activities can enhance one’s academic and social life, they can also be a hindrance if too much time is spent on them. Remember their education comes first. They are the leaders of tomorrow.