Opening Opportunities for Our Children

3874913760_12a9cfb4b0_zParents everywhere are feeling the weight of their responsibilities to their kids and wondering how they are going to accomplish everything they want to. Most parents have a general goal of raising children who will be productive members of society. Many parents set their sights higher. No matter what the goal a parent has for his/her children, it can be stressful coming up with way to accomplish them. Academics are generally close to the top, if not at the top, of the list. School is crucially important to a child’s growth mentally, socially, and emotionally.

School is where kids learn many of the skills needed to succeed in life. But wait… School is only eight hours long, and it’s only during the week. What are the kids going to do with all the off time? Well, homework will take up a small portion of that time, but the truly free time is where most kids run into various problems such as boredom. Since parents were kids at one point in time, we know that boredom for a child often leads to trouble. One excellent remedy for this, that doesn’t include bags of potato chips, bottles of soda, and the TV, is an after school program. As parents, we take pride in knowing our children, as much as they will let us. This opens the door to many possibilities that could prove to be very productive ways to occupy the downtime of a child.

One of the most popular options is, of course, sports. Whether your little guy or gal like to throw things, run all over the place, or roughhousing with their siblings, there is an after school activity for them. From baseball to track to wrestling, there are too many options out there for the little busy-bodied children across the world. Not only will sports give the kids something to occupy their time, it will also give them something to look forward to. Sports also give the parents a little incentive for maintaining grades. A child that loves to play soccer, for example, will do their best to keep grades up if their beloved soccer games are on the line.

Now, not all kids are the same. For every hyper, busy-body there is a kid that likes to sit quietly and draw, or create things with building blocks. These creative kids might do better in a more creative field, such as music. Studies from just about every research group have shown that music is an extremely healthy use of a child’s time. Music helps kids maintain their left-brain potential and gives them regular goals to reach. While many schools offer music programs, some kids will respond better to a more one-on-one situation. Whether you choose group piano lessons or private singing lessons for your little, they will be grateful right away and later in life.

After-school activities are a great way to keep a child’s mind sharp and maintain their sense of responsibility. Kids love to do things that allow them to express themselves in ways that they see best fit. A quick conversation with your little one could reveal an interest that would work great for a motivational activity. We, as parents, have to remain diligent in our responsibilities to our kids. Offering programs and activities to keep them occupied could be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made for your family. Who knows, it could even be something that you could do with your young one. An after-school interest could be the best bonding tool for your child with others on the family.

Obviously the child’s future is a big factor in deciding to do something like this. Once you enter the adult world, most folks realize that the more skills one has simply means the more opportunities they will continue to have throughout life. After-school activities are a great way for parents to supply their children with the skills to open the doors to all these amazing opportunities presented to us as we live our lives.

Image: Steve Snodgrass

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