When your kids are growing up, it is best to expose them to many different things, so they can try to find what works best for them, and find out what they like. There are so many opportunities for little kids in art, sports, music, writing, playing, or anything else really. Some kids like to participate in Karate, which isn’t exactly your typical children’s “sport”, but is certainly competitive. Other kids like to do ceramics, which is a certain kind of art, but not your typical “drawing and painting” class. Some kids have interests in more than one of these things, and that’s great too. Kids can like a whole plethora of things. Some of these things they will find on their own, but for other things, you can help guide them by giving them a little exposure.
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There are so many activities for kids, that as a parent you might start to go crazy they want to do them all! They have school, then soccer practice, then dance practice, and then debate team practice, and that’s just Monday! What are you going to do!?
Often time and money are in short supply for some activities and that can have an effect for certain kids. Golfing, for instance, is a relatively expensive sport to get into. Similarly horseback riding is expensive to really get into. At the same time, soccer is much cheaper, and so is basketball.
You want to allow your kid the freedom to explore certain options, but at the end of the day, once your child is older, you will want them to hone in one or two things. Early on it is better for your kid to get massive amounts of exposure so they can learn about themselves and learn about their interests, but once they are older it will be difficult to keep up a high level of activity if enrolled in too many activities.
If you are trying to sway your kid in anyway, think about the values that are important to you. What values do you want to install in your children?
Another thing to consider is the long-term benefit of the activity for the kid? You want to spend time with your kids as they grow up. Maybe you don’t want them getting into something that will take up too much of their time. This varies from family to family.
One of the more important things to consider is how the activities correspond with your kid’s talents, strengths and abilities. If your kid likes to play soccer but is not very good, but also likes to play basketball and is much better at that, then at some point it may be necessary to steer your kid in the direction that they will be more successful. Early on, let your kids do what they want, but at some point it may be important to step in.
How often does the activity meet? Do you have to drive your kid to the place where it meets? For some families that have difficult lives, not all opportunities are realistic. These are just some of the things to consider when helping your kid pick out the best extra curricular activities for him or her.