Creative Child

The Value of Extracurricular Activities

by Rebecca Eanes

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Higher Self-Esteem

A sense of accomplishment boosts self-esteem, and that’s what children get when they finally score a run, complete a recital, or finish a volunteer shift. During my son’s first year of Little League Baseball, he went to bat many times and struck out. His teammates and coaches kept encouraging him, and he kept going up to bat each and every game. He was learning grit. Finally, he got a hit and helped his team score. The MVP certificate his coach gave him that day meant so much to him because he had earned it. He was beaming as he ran toward me waving the certificate. It still hangs on his wall today.

Again, research tells us that, as children learn and grow in areas outside of academics, their self-esteem rises, and this has a positive effect on all aspects of their lives.

A Chance to Explore Talents and Discover Passions

Extracurricular activities give children a chance to explore possible interests, discover their talents, and find their passions. While some children may know their talent very early on, others may have to try out a few different interests before they find a spark. If they don’t get out on the field or up on the stage, they may discover that hidden gem within them.

Better Health

Many extracurricular activities, particularly sports, get children moving! As academics get more rigorous for children, they will begin to be stressed. Exercise is a stress-buster and provides mental as well as physical benefits. Being physically active boosts metabolism and mental alertness, and they’ll sleep much better at night, as well.

As you can see, there is so much value to extracurricular activities. While you don’t have to do go overboard and enroll in a different activity for every day of the week, it’s a good idea to try on a few hats and see which fit your child best!

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 

 

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