Each parent wishes their child demonstrates social skills, cognitive reasoning, physical strength, and team spirit. In order to ensure full character development in children, the school’s education helps up to a specific point. A child doing extracurricular activities post-school will benefit their overall character development.
Hence parents must introduce multiple extracurricular activities to children in order to learn new things and build better personalities.
What is an extracurricular activity?
An extracurricular activity is also known as ECA. This is an activity children participate in beyond the school’s standard curriculum. Such activities are based on personal interests which help develop new skills.
Simply put, activities that children perform outside of the school curriculum are known as extracurricular activities. Therefore, schools do not usually take care of ECA. These activities are sometimes voluntary, sometimes social and most likely involve interacting with the same age group.
Parents usually struggle to find the right extracurricular activities that can engage their children’s interests and help them in their college applications. First, we must understand what can and cannot count as an extracurricular activity to clear any confusion.
Extracurricular activities have two main criteria:
- Demonstrating a talent
- Providing value to others and yourself
For example – trying different hairstyles or improving your hair quality doesn’t count as an extracurricular activity. However, if you started a blog to share hair care tips that can count as an ECA. This is because it demonstrates skill and provides value to other people.
The benefits of extracurricular activities on your child’s development
Extracurricular activities not only help your child to make great applications to colleges. They also offer many health and development benefits:
Extracurricular activities involving physical work help improve the overall physical health of the child. Physical ECA helps children exercise, lowering the risk of diseases such as obesity, low metabolism, depression, and more.
Instills social skills
ECAs instill social skills into the child from a young age helping them grow into confident adults. The ECA helps develop social skills such as peer relationships, coordination, and leadership. Various cultural and religious clubs also help develop diversity and cultural values.
ECAs focusing on your child’s interests help push up their self-esteem and build their confidence. It also helps the child focus on their passion and develop a brand-new skill. The improved self-esteem levels help provide confidence to the child to better express their opinions and thoughts.
Better mental health
Better mental and psychological development in children and teens is developed through the fuelling of self-esteem and passion. Studies have shown children participating in extracurricular activities are always less anxious and more satisfied. The study also shows the ECA that reduces screen time for the child leaves them in a better mental state.
Developing personal habits
ECAs help develops good habits for optimal early development in your child. Additionally, a few extracurricular activities set the pathway for the general health and well-being of children to keep on throughout their lives, like:
- Community development
- Time management skills
- Compassion towards others
Helps with Academics
When you enroll your children in academic ECAs, it helps them perform better in school. This, in return, improves their grades and brightens their chances to get admission to prestigious universities.
Choosing The Best Extracurricular Activity
There are multiple extracurricular activities available which can confuse parents. If you aren’t able to decide which extracurricular activities are suited for your child, consider the following factors while choosing ECAs:
- Stop making it harder
The chosen extracurricular activity must not become a burden on your child. An activity that leaves them exhausted or without time for academics or other activities will quickly lead to burnout.
- Set schedules
In this case, the word extra is key in extracurricular activities. The main purpose of extracurriculars is to convert your child’s free time into more useful time. It would help if you did not make your child extra busy with extracurricular activities. Hence, first, create your child’s daily schedule and accordingly pick the activity that fills that extra time slot.
- Evaluate strengths and weaknesses
It is best if you understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses before selecting an ECA. If your child is good at coloring, there are zero reasons for them to be in a kickboxing class. So, choose an extracurricular activity according to their strengths.
- Provide the right direction
It is essential to choose an extracurricular activity to help children in academics, besides your child’s interest. Talk to your child’s teacher to understand which ECA helps them perform better in school.
- Fun and lightweight activities
Your child already has schoolwork and homework to do. If extracurricular activities are an extra burden on them, it will bore and tire them. Hence, choose extracurricular activities which can be light and fun. ECAs must help relax your kids instead of exhausting them.
Now that you are better educated about extracurricular activities and the benefits for your child, why not spend some time picking an extracurricular activity with your kid?
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