As parents, we often spend countless hours thinking, dreaming, and envisioning what our child’s future will look like. We often wonder if we are providing our children with the right opportunities and pushing them in the direction that will ultimately lead them to a life of success and happiness. One question parents often ask themselves is how can I help my child succeed and how do I help my child discover their true passions and dreams in life. One way that parents can easily support their child and help them is by getting them involved in after school activities. These activities could include a sport, a hobby, a club, or even getting them involved in service activities. Here are 5 reasons why we believe that after school activities are important in a child’s life:
Builds Confidence- When a child is able to consider their strengths and interests their confidence will immediately get a boost. Children who have confidence also often have a sense of purpose and direction which impacts most everything they do. They develop a “why” in their life and seek to set goals and achieve them which also increases their confidence further.
Provides a Great Way to Socialize- Children are in school for a good amount of time each day, but the majority of this time is for learning in a more formal setting. While there are definitely opportunities to communicate and form relationships in the classroom, oftentimes the school environment just does not foster the type of relationship that can occur in an afterschool activity. Activities done after school give students more of an opportunity to act freely, to be themselves, and to be more comfortable taking risks and learning from each other. Since most after school activities are based on similar interests, the children often have a lot in common and this helps them build relationships even better.
Decision Making Skills- When kids are able to participate in a variety of different after school activities they are getting a valuable opportunity to self-reflect and make decisions about what they like to do and what they are not as interested in. Some children have an idea about what their interests are but others want to take the time to explore a variety of different things to see what their true passions are and what makes them happy. Do not worry if your child wants to try a variety of activities, there are valuable experiences to be had in any setting and this will ultimately lead your child to discover their true passion.
Passion and Drive- Kids who are able to tap into what ignites their inner fire definitely have the advantage of being able to stay focused on their goals and dreams and live life more on purpose. Research has shown time and time again that kids who have a goal and purpose are less likely to get involved in substance abuse, have poor grades in school, and lack motivation in their life. Kids who embrace their passion and set goals towards their future are much more likely to be successful than students who do not.
Friendship- There are definitely times when children do not make close friendships with students at school. Students are not able to choose their classmates and until they are a bit older, they cannot even choose the classes they attend. Oftentimes, students are likely to create lasting friendships during after school activities because they are connected by a shared passion and experiences.
If your child is unsure which after school activity interests them, consider having them join a friend for their activity. From this experience with a friend, your child can reflect and think about whether or not it is a good fit for them which could lead them to even more opportunities to discover what they are passionate about.