Choosing Extra Mural Activities for your Child

When choosing extra mural activities for your children, it is important to take into consideration your child’s strengths and weaknesses, their likes, dislikes and their ability to manage the stresses that come with school life.

Include your child in the process

This is an exciting time for both the parent and the child – especially when your child is still in their earlier phases (grade 1, grade 2, grade 3) as they are discovering and uncovering new exciting things. Include your child in the selection process. Sit down with your child and explain the different sport options as well as the different various cultural options (art, dance, drama). From there, provide your point of view and invite them to share their opinion on the topic thereafter.

Getting the balance right

It is important to remember that children, regardless of age, are under immense pressure to perform, achieve and live up to their parents demands and expectations. Be sure to be mindful of the fact that our children need to be balanced individuals who are able to partake in sport, cultural commitments and academics. Encourage your child to get involved in at least one school sport and one cultural activity but don’t over do it. This will achieve stimulation all round and help your child achieve balance in their life.

To sport or not to sport

Sport is the most beneficial activity a child can partake in. It is a fantastic, natural stress reliever, helps stabilise moods and increase levels of focus. In addition to this, sport has shown to teach children the ability to lead, listen and work in a group which is imperative to be able to work, achieve and succeed in any society.

Sport activities include:

  • Netball
  • Athletics
  • Swimming
  • Diving
  • Water Polo
  • Hockey
  • Tennis
  • Squash
  • Soccer
  • Cricket
  • Rugby
  • Horse Riding
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Rowing
  • Cheerleading
  • Softball
  • Baseball (Boys)
  • Badminton
  • Lacrosse
  • Gymnastics
  • Wrestling
  • Volleyball

The benefits of a cultural activity

In todays world, it is now more important than ever to instil in our children the love for art, drama and dance. With the increase in the rate of technology, children are losing touch with the arts and tapping into the technology world. Whilst there is no denying that the need for children to learn coding has increased, I believe in order for our children to not lose sight of what is important and to create individuals who have appreciation for the finer things in life, we need to invite our children to embrace the idea of arts and culture and encourage them to enrol in a creative class at school or in their spare time.

Cultural activities include:

  • Art
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Marimbas
  • Photography
  • Film
  • Poetry writing
  • Woodworking
  • Pottery and ceramics
  • Music

Your child’s strengths and weaknesses

As parents, we are inclined to be in denial that our children may struggle in certain areas and excel in the ones that we thought wouldn’t be possible but the sooner stop making our children live up to the things we could never achieve, the better. Not all children are the same and therefore can’t be ‘good’ at everything. You need to acknowledge and be mindful of your child’s downfalls and weak points and accept that it doesn’t make them weak or disadvantaged. This could be anything from your child struggling to catch a ball to grappling with a maths equation. We are all designed and programmed to be different and thank goodness for that. Ease up on your children and don’t force them into anything that will destroy their confidence and ultimately result in them hating the activity all together.

Advice

At That Sassy Life Coach, we advise that parents sign their children up for at least one sport and one cultural activity. By doing this, you force your child outside of their comfort zone and force them to learn new things. Learning new things is an importance part of life and should be encouraged in children from an early age.

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