Should children be encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities if they show no interest?
Why or why not be concerned if your child does not want to participate in sports, music or art outside of school? What can you do to help them overcome fears or other obstacles to participation?
My mom had this same problem with me when I was a kid. I was a bit of a loner, and my mom was worried that I wouldn't make any friends and miss out on everything. Eventually though, after having to endure things like the Scouts, Sunday school etc. I got talking to some kid at school who was in the local nature club, it sounded interesting, so I joined and loved every minute of it.
I think its important to encourage, but never to force a child to participate in an extracurricular activity. Eventually they will discover something that truly interests them, and when they do you'll feel like the happiest person alive.
Interesting question, which I'm sure will trigger some good debate. My personal opinion would be that we should encourage our children. I feel most kids, left to there own devices, will play computer games all day long. And I can't really blame them as they just want to have fun, right? But there are so many things to do, so many experiences and things to explore, unless they are encouraged to try different things they'll never get around to it alone. Just my two pennies worth...
No, the child won't swerve to video games and other activities if they have been brought up to work for things and not be spoilt and treated like a king or queen.
If they are shy or are uncomfortable to do something because they are unaware of what will happen, then teach them some things about it yourself and try again. Forcing a child to do something YOU want them to do is the same as being a dictator and will shy the child away from developing their relationship with you in later life.
Totally agree.Children who are forced to participate in unwanted activities will be unhappy.It is better for a child to be self-motivated and DO WHAT HE/SHE wants to do. Such children are more successful and happier in life. Force=abuse=hatred.
Great answers so far! I have 4 kids and my youngest son doesn't want anything to do with sports. I've offered theater and music too and the answer is always "no." It is a personality thing, I think. But we have a little hope that he is finally excited about a painting class that goes for 6 weeks. The only thing is that his twin sister is in the class, but if she was not, I'm not sure he would do the art, either!
It is important to find the root cause why they don't want to participate. My daughter excluded herself from some activities she would have enjoyed and been good at simply because the crowd she was hanging with didn't do it, or because there was someone in it whom she didn't like. Some kids dream of doing something but they are terrified of failure or ridicule. They are already damaged, and it is very important to find a safe supportive activity where the program builds success into it and there is no way they can fail or be ridiculed. It is equally important to find why kids DO want to participate. If they are doing it for any reason besides really enjoying it (such as to please Dad or Mom) they should probably not be encouraged.
If your kid is dragging their feet, take a look at the program and see how the coach/facilitator treats the non star kids. If he/she is only interested in the star kids and your kid isn't one, your kid probably won't gain much from it anyway. You can look for a different league or (I know this is really old fashioned) just facilitate your kid doing fun activities with friends that they pick. Don't underestimate how badly an obnoxious little jerk in any group who isn't roundly put in his place (i.e. asked to leave) can spoil the experience for everyone.
I think it is important for every kid to do one or two group things that they really enjoy. It's just harder to find a fit for some than for others. And talk to them and find out what they are gaining from it.
It's important to present options. The hope is eventually there will be activities that will click with the child. However, there is a fine line between encouragement and being forceful--the latter can put a strain on the parent-child relationship.
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