Dear Mrs MMM
What is your advice/opinion on kids participating in extracurricular activities after school?
For example sport or music. Should we let kids be or force them to do something? My oldest daughter is 6. Last year she did ballet. This term she has been doing tap and jazz. She wanted to do it but now she says its boring and hard.
I find that at home she is getting lazy. She’s still doing really well at school. I would like her to do sport because of the health benefits but also it will help with coordination (unfortunately she gets her genes from me). What do you think?
I am personally not big on forcing kids into extra curricular activities. One of my children is incredibly shy in large groups and the only extra curricular activity over the years that she has taken part in, brought her to a little melt down and she pulled out. It was clearly making her more nervous and uptight.
In my daughters case, we have discovered her passions and interests and ensure that she focuses on these in her spare time. Even if it is reading a book about her thing, that is what we do. I prioritise that she has special interests other than TV,iPod or just laying about. I think that is really important for her mental health too.
As for the physical health benefits of doing a sporting activity, I can completely understand your concerns. I always think we as parents should model the behaviour we want our kids to mimic though, so a regular walk, run, swim or bike ride with the kids in tow can be great for everyone’s health and relationships.
I really wouldn’t push your Daughter into an activity if she has no interest in it. It won’t only become stressful for you but also a big time and money waster.
I bet that as your Daughter gets older and discovers friends doing certain activities, she will want to hop on board too. Until then, enjoy the time you don’t need to play the Mummy Taxi and head outside for some great time together :).