Creative Child

How to Motivate Your Child to Participate in Extra-Curricular Activities

by Deborah Song

Parents are motivated now more than ever to enroll their kids in sports and other extra-curricular activities. The question is, how do you motivate your child? There is a fine balance between support and pressure. In order to motivate our kids the healthy way, it’s important to understand the needs of each individual child. Here are 7 ways to start.

1. Discover their interests. They only way to find out what your child may like or be talented in is to expose them. But it’s important to expose them in doses they can handle. Kids need to digest and make assessments about the things they’ve seen and the activities they’ve tried. Exposing your child to something new also doesn’t have to involve the commitment of a whole season or semester. Before signing your child up for an extracurricular activity, let them get their feet wet first. Many programs offer free trial classes, for instance. Paying attention to the things they like at home are also great cues for the kinds of activities they may like.


2. Involve them in the decision-making process. Involving your child in the decision-making process is important for two reasons: One, your child knows what he likes better than you do. And two, by involving him, he’ll feel invested, which may bolster his level of commitment.

3. Support without hovering. Too much unwanted attention and pressure can overwhelm your child and even cause him to dislike an activity he once enjoyed doing. Children naturally want to please their parents so be weary about showing too much enthusiasm as well, which can translate to unwanted pressure.

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