Why YOUR Child Should Participate in Extra-Curricular Activities
The other day, one of the agricultural “Mom” groups I am in had an in-depth discussion regarding extracurricular activities for your children. Through the discussion, it was upsetting to see that most parents said they would not allow their children to partake in extracurricular activities because the family was “too busy”.
Often as farmers and homesteaders, it is easy to devote every ounce of our life to the farm. With endless chores, coupled with the fact that we often live in remote locations, extracurricular activities for kids often get put on the back burner.
Although these extra outings can seem like an inconvenience, they are truly vital to the development of your child. Allowing your children to meet new people, and gain knowledge in areas that they otherwise wouldn’t, provides an amazing benefit to your children’s ability to interact with others.
In or household, 4-H and FFA are a given. Period, my kids will be involved in learning about agriculture, but also the other aspects like public speaking, financial management, and more. However, we also let our children choose one more activity to participate in. Since we have four kids, this can lead to very busy evenings, but it keeps them engaged and learning. Currently, two of my children have chosen the same extracurricular activity, Jiu Jitsu.
Through this, my kids not only learn to defend themselves, stay physically fit, and are a part of a team, but they get to interact with children that they would otherwise never know. We are the only ones in my son’s class with a farm. The rest of the families live in the city. There is nothing at all wrong with this! In fact, I welcome this because it teaches my children how to interact with people that do not instantly share the same interests and experience that they do!
Regardless of what activities our children choose, it is vital that we support their endeavors. I still vividly remember being told by my parent that I wasn’t allowed to even tryout for teams because I wasn’t going to be “good enough”. It was repeated through my attempts to join the swim team, track team, and weightlifting teams. It is still something that I remember being very hurt by, and the last thing you want to tell your children is that they “aren’t good enough” for anything.
If your child tries, and fails, then it is a lesson for them to learn, but we should never teach them to not try. The only lesson in failure we should teach is that you fail automatically when you don’t try to achieve your goals.
My question for you as a parent is what activities do your children participate in? Do you encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone or do you hold them back? If you have been holding them back, it’s time to reevaluate the priorities and see how you can encourage your child, and help them grow!