When the time comes to enroll your child in an extra-curricular activity consider the positive aspects it provides:
Team sports help with socialization. It may be an opportunity to make a friend they can do things with outside the team practices and games.
Music helps with creativity.
Drama helps with self expression.
Increased self esteem occurs over time as your child becomes more competent at the particular activity.
And, as you review each of these activities the positive attributes noted are not exclusive to each activity. For example, music can promote socialization and self expression.
If your child asks to stop an activity make sure it’s not in the middle of the season or class. Be sure to have him/her finish what they start. On the other hand, if he/she requests to stop an activity and the season has not started have a discussion about the reasons behind this decision. Try not to force your child to re-enroll. Have suggestions for helping him/her have renewed interest in the activity. Consider alternative activities she/he can try given the gap in time that could be created by the ending of the previous involvement.
Be supportive regardless of the outcome. If your daughter stops softball after three years of involvement highlight her accomplishments. And, build on this support by pointing out she may do well in a new sport such as Lacrosse.
Submitted by Ken Barrett, MSW, LCSW