Helping Your Kids Choose Extracurricular Activities

Most parents, before going through the stage of educating teenagers how to drive wind up with kids taking part in after school activities because their friends have joined. These activities can be great because it gives the opportunity to go on an interesting field trip or some other fun reason to socialize. But if you have kids that tend to be shy or introverted you may see extracurricular activities as a way to help them socialize with their peers. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of options available to meet your needs. Of course, there are a few things to consider before making the final decision on which activities to have your kids sign up for.

Finding the Right Fit

The first thing to decide is what kind of budget you have to work with when it comes to all the extra expenses of after school activities. Many school activities now come with a "pay to play" fee, not to mention the cost of uniforms, supplies, transportation or any other requirements for the program. Be sure to get a full list that covers everything you will be expected to pay before you agree to let your child take part so you are not blindsided with extra costs later.

If your child has not brought up the subject of extracurricular activities, you may have some in mind that you think would be beneficial. Whether you are looking for something athletic that will help them get exercise or something more on the academic side you should keep the interests of your kids in mind before signing them up for something they may not care for. Talk with your child about what activities you had in mind and why you think they would be a good fit. Your kids might have a few points of their own that are worth discussing as well.

Transportation can be another issue for parents when their kids are in activities after school. If you have a busy work schedule you will need to make plans as to how your kids will get to their meetings, practice or events. If the activity has performances or competitions then you will want to set aside time to watch your children participate. Make sure you have enough room in your schedule and the financial means to accommodate all of these requirements so your child can participate to the fullest in the activity of their choice.

Not only will you need to dedicate time to participating in your child's activities but the time constraints will have a serious impact on your children as well. You will need to make sure a rigorous practice schedule will not have a negative impact on their academic progress or social life. You should have a plan in place beforehand as to how you will handle such issues if they arise to avoid confrontation later. Having a talk with your kids about these kinds of concerns can help them get on the same page so they can offer productive solutions as well.

Helping your kids choose extracurricular activities can be a great way to get your kids involved in the community and at school. It can be fun for the whole family to watch your kids learn and grow as they continue to participate in the activities they pick. But it is important to consider every side of the issue before signing any agreements so you do not wind up changing your mind halfway through the season. If everyone in your family works together you are sure to find the activities that are the ideal match for every one of your children.

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