Encouraging extracurricular activities

Life is about more than work. It is about family and community; it is about you, the individual. Helping your children lead truly balanced lives involves both modeling balance in your own life and helping them find balance in theirs.

Extracurricular refers to things your children do outside of normal school classes. Adults also engage in extracurricular activities when they do things outside the normal duties of their job or profession. Extracurricular activities are important for all of us.

The most common extracurricular activities for kids are connected to sports and recreation, music, and religious groups. Children begin participating in these types of pursuits early, usually during elementary school. They learn discipline, leadership, and teamwork. They develop responsibility, sense of purpose, and caring. They create bonds with their peers and other adults and become part of new communities. They learn about their own talents, interests, strengths, and limits.

Your challenge as a parent is to help your children find meaningful activities, activities that "fit" them. It is also to make sure they maintain a balance between school work, family, personal time, and these activities.