While it’s true every parent wants their child to excel in the classroom, oftentimes, many parents neglect the importance of imparting extracurricular interests on their kids.
As we learned in the Shining, ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’—kids need the opportunity to develop skills outside the classroom and figure out what they enjoy doing (they’re not going to be students for their whole lives).
It goes without saying that doing well in school is an important part of having a fulfilling life. However, it’s also important to teach kids the importance of activities outside the classroom—these are often the vehicles which teach children the most important life lessons.
Not to detract from the lessons that kids learn in the classroom, but… it’s usually outside the classroom where they learn the most valuable life lessons.
For example, team sports provide an opportunity for them to learn how to work together towards a common goal, as well as how to cope with winning and losing, and how to be a good sport.
Martial arts provide an opportunity for kids to learn how to defend themselves, as well as discipline and dedication.
Plus, putting your kids in sports is a great way to keep them out of trouble, and stay active—which is becoming increasingly important with the growing obesity rate.
Discover What Drives Them
While school is an important way for kids to learn the things that they’ll need to know as working adults, extracurricular activities are often where they figure out what career path they want to pursue.
Putting your kids in different activities offers them the opportunity to figure out what they enjoy doing. What makes them tick, what could they see themselves doing for work?
Giving them a variety of different experiences increases the likelihood they will find out what it is they want to do for a career.
Bond with Other Kids
Humans are social animals—even the most stringent introverts need to spend some time with other people. However, during school hours, kids are usually confined to their studies. Sure, they have breaks (albeit only for an hour a day), but they don’t really have the opportunity to socialize.
Extracurricular activities allow them this opportunity, it also offers them the chance to develop friendships that they can cultivate and build on.
Time to Be Kids
Above all else, extracurricular activities offer kids the chance to be kids. The number of kids who are diagnosed with things like ADD and ADHD is rapidly increasing—this is partly because many kids aren’t given the opportunity to get out and expend their pent-up energy. They spend so much time in the classroom, but they often lack the opportunities to just have fun and enjoy being a kid.
Think about the fondest memories of your childhood; how many of them are in a classroom? Oftentimes, we forget to let our kids be kids—they need to have the opportunities to get out of the classroom, and just let loose.