Some kids are crazy about Football, some others prefer drama, while still others like ballet. As parents we want to encourage our children to nurture their individual talents or hobbies, in the best possible way. By cheering our kids on in their individual pursuits we feel proud of them.
Although participating in Clubs, sports, music, dance, drama, and figure skating all sound great because it helps our kids become well rounded and socially adept. Aside from these obvious aspects extracurricular activities are indeed important for students because they not only look good on college applications but also foster relationships and provide students with coaches and leaders who can become positive adult role models. They also give students a chance to have fun, earn recognition and build self-esteem. Apart from this extracurricular activities can help students to develop physical, social and intellectual abilities as well.
But when too many activities outweigh the time spent on homework, as a consequence grades slip; that and other distractions like social media together contribute to sliding grades. It’s about time we as parents who know what’s important for our kids, to step in. It’s time to rethink things through with our kids if they aren’t able to, especially if your child’s schoolwork is compromised.
While participating in extracurricular activities has its benefits but grades too are important, we know that, but do our children realise that? I doubt that, because if they did, their grades wouldn’t slip. Hence the question, How to help your child to balance schoolwork with extracurricular activities?
As Parents it becomes our duty to look out for our kids, being the more mature and experienced ones. Here are some tips for Parents to help children learn how to take part in the activities they enjoy . . . but still have time for studying and just growing up.
School Work Comes First
It is important for parents to teach and show children that school is their primary responsibility and in the process help them realise that school takes priority over extracurricular activities.
Avoid Taking Vacations or Holidays
Parents should try to resist whisking their kids from school for a day at the movies or a week long vacation. If you treat school attendance lightly, they will too. They’ll also fall behind at schoolwork. Apart from this; having to catch up in class puts kids in a stressful situation that is not really required.
Create a Calendar
Sometimes is helps to have a plan in place for the entire week and to know the list of tasks that need to be completed. Creating a calendar with the entire family helps each of us to be organised and to swap tasks that are interfering with important or other tasks. For instance, “I have a foot ball match tomorrow and dishes to do, so I will do it when I get back”.
Multi – task When Applicable
Multi-tasking goes a long way because a lot of work can be done within the same time period. For example you can ask your child to study for the test tomorrow from a text book in the car, en route to football practice.
Monitor your Child
It is also important for parents to be aware of signs that their child may be too overloaded with schoolwork and extracurricular. Tiredness is the biggest indicator, if your child seems tired all the time or seem too worn out to do homework at the end of the day; these are signs that they have too much on their plate. Other signs include grades slipping, not being able to find time to spend with friends and changes in personality, such as grouchiness or seem more worrisome.
Pay Attention to and Discuss things
If your child complains too much about the schoolwork and extracurricular activities getting them exhausted all the time, spare some time for your child to sit down and discuss the amount of schoolwork and extracurricular activities your child has and participates in.
Draw a Line
After identifying the signs of fatigue or over load, highlighting them to and discussing them with your child, if you find no change. Then it’s time to intervene and draw a line. Your child may not welcome this at first but they sometimes need assistance even though they may either think or know it but refuse to accept that they need some assistance. Some also prefer to tackle it by themselves, to no avail. Be that as it may, it will help them to realise that you only want what’s best for them, are involved in their lives and will reconsider what you are pointing out to them. This works best for teens.
Rethink Things Through
If your child is unable to figure out the reasons for their slipping grades; offer to help, they are more likely to accept that they may need a little bit of assistance. Aside from this you too need to rethink things through and then discuss the decision with your child. While discussing your decision you also need to highlight and weigh the pros and cons of the decision. In addition it is important for you to encourage the development of this thinking pattern in your child, so after you have put your point across, ask your children to do the same. This will help them to evaluate things from different aspects and come to a conclusion or decision that works best.
If parents apply these points that have been discussed chances are that your child will listen to you and appreciate you and your help. Thus the bond that you have with your child will improve and bring you’ll together and closer as a family.