When you look to involve your children in activities that can further shape who they will become, you need to choose the right hobbies, of course. But you also need to be sure your kids are actually ready for their commitment. You also have to be ready to commit.
Do not risk spending any unnecessary money and be sure to invest your family’s time the right way. To make sure you are doing the right thing, you should pay attention to this list. Here are four ways to help get your kids involved in extracurricular activities.
1. Actively Listen to Their Ideas
Your children say all kinds of crazy things, but don’t always rule out some of their unusual thoughts. You likely have ideas as to what your kids might be good be at, and you may even be insisting they try something you’ve enjoyed. But just because their interests are uncommon doesn’t mean you shouldn’t inquire more.
You have to find extracurricular activities they will enjoy and something that will keep their interests. Work with your kids to jot down the pros and cons of any activities they are considering. This will help them be realistic about their interests. Ask them, too, what they plan to do in the future with the skills they could develop.
2. Give It a Test Run
Always give it a test run when you can. Before enrolling your child in music lessons, for example, see about renting their preferred instrument to see if there is an actual interest. If you have a kid who wants to take painting classes, first grab some discount art supplies. Watch at home for whether or not your child actually wants to paint.
Be certain, though, not to make decisions based on talent. Your kids, especially the youngest ones, need to feel like they can achieve anything. Just because your child can’t catch or hit a baseball as you did at their age doesn’t mean they can’t become an all-star.
3. Help Them Find What They Need
Your children will probably need some type of equipment to get started on their new hobby. Some items may be required for safety reasons and others will help make their hobby more enjoyable and therefore help them stick to it. For example, if one of your children wants to try basketball, the appropriate footwear is required to avoid injuries. If another wants to dance, competition dance bags are pretty handy if they’re getting more serious. When it comes to actually buying the gear, try buying second hand and reach out to organized activities groups that may have fundraisers and even some free resources for you. While you don’t need to go out and spend a ton of money on something they might not stick to, you should help them at least make decisions about what they need and why
4. Encourage Them
There is more to it than just finding your kids the perfect extracurricular activities they actually want to join. Know that you are going to have to encourage them. Even if your schedule doesn’t always permit you to be there in person, you still must show a genuine interest.
If time does permit, you should always try to be there to support them. If they have a baseball game or a debate match, you should try to attend. When you cannot be there, you should always try to be the first person to reach out to see how they did.
5. Stay in the Know
When you are always aware of what your children’s related responsibilities are and all the important dates, you increase your chances of your kids staying involved. Children need reminders, and, of course, you also need them. Don’t forget to set reminders on your smartphone, too.
Have a calendar of activities on your fridge. You can make one online and print it out. You also could get your kids to create one with poster board every Sunday and place it on a wall in their playroom, or some spot in your home they use often. Make sure you all stay in the know.
Be Sure to Find Something Your Children Enjoy
Do not give up until you successfully involve your kids in some type of activity they enjoy. Your children will increase their chances of getting into great colleges. They also can become the well-rounded adults you hope they will grow into one day.
Use these five tips above to be certain you are giving it an actual shot. Your children deserve this. You will be glad you took the initiative, too.