Monday, 08 August 2011
I got a good response from my comment on the post "To Do or Not To Do Gymnastics?". I have more to say on the topic.
I may be a little biased when it comes to being involved in activities other than school. I was super involved, and played every sport (except soccer for some reason). I was in dance lessons, and played clarinet and piano. If I could I would have had art lessons as well. I may still take them.
When my mother put me in dance lessons at 4 years old, both my sisters having already taken dance for years, she had no clue that I would choose it as a career. She's an accountant; my father a lawyer. Who knew I would be a dancer? I am so thankful I got the opportunity to develop that love for dance. If my mom had never taken me to that first lesson, who the heck would I be today?
Exposing our children to every possible outlet is so important. My little girl is 3 now. She loves playing ball, and she loves dancing. I'm going to do everything I can to get her on sports teams. Her first year of dance will be this year. She will be exposed to gymnastics, and later hopefully piano or guitar. She does wonders with a tambourine.
I know some people don't view these things as important. I know a lot of people who think I do not have a "real" career. Even if the children do not pursue these things into adulthood, I guarantee they will take something with them. The team mentality you get from sports. The hard work and dedication it takes to learn an instrument or dance/gymnastics. Being active makes you healthier. It stimulates your mind and helps you learn in other areas. Colleges give scholarships to people who have expertise in something other than school. No matter if you get a degree in it or not. That could be the only way your child gets to go to the college they want.
I think it is horrible that arts programs are cut in schools every year, but that is another issue.
All of this being said. Do not FORCE your child to do these things. If they try it, and put forth effort and it doesn't work. Toss it. The other side. Don't let your child quit something on a whim. If they have done well, and haven't had problems, but maybe their friends aren't doing it, or maybe they had a bad week -don't let them quit. They will regret it. There are countless people I know who regret quitting dance. Help your child be well rounded. This is my view.
What's your experience with extracurricular activities? Do you plan on exposing your children to any sports, musical instruments, arts or other extracurricular activities?