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Encouragement for extra curricular activity

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anniesdad
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Encouragement for extra curricular activity

#402538

Postby anniesdad » April 8th, 2021, 10:30 am

Hi All, I’m trying to encourage my teenagers to do more Extra curricular stuff. They’re not sharing the same enthusiasm as me lol. Looking for some advice on what to say to them.

One at 14 has just been selected to a trial to play for the County. My response was excitement enthusiasm etc. Hers was much more muted and disinterested (COVID hasn’t helped).Her mum (we’re separated) asked me a few questions about it and they seemed to focus more on the negative aspects like how much involvement will be required, travel etc and she is seeing this as bit if a chore. I’m more like it doesn’t matter what’s required, it’s great opportunity, and I’m sure somehow we’ll just overcome any obstacles.

What do you see as the real longer term benefits of kids participating in EC activities? How important is it in terms of their future, opening doors, building their personality etc?

bluedonkey
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Re: Encouragement for extra curricular activity

#402568

Postby bluedonkey » April 8th, 2021, 11:27 am

Out of interest, which sport?

You could suggest that putting "I played for the county" on your CV will help with uni application / job application.

vrdiver
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Re: Encouragement for extra curricular activity

#402579

Postby vrdiver » April 8th, 2021, 11:54 am

You could tell her about what you remember from your teens, what you are proud of and what you regret, but I'd suggest that won't translate too effectively, purely because it's coming from dad, who obviously has ulterior motivation about what conclusion should be drawn...

Alternatively, do you know of any 20 somethings that could tell the same story? Might turn out that what they regret is doing stuff their parents wanted them to do but they didn't want to, or it might turn out that what they remember most fondly was the friends they met who shared their passion for a sport/hobby/career etc.

Alternatively (mark 2) is there anything that they DO want to do, or could they be persuaded to give it a go for say, three months, with 100% their call whether to continue, no questions asked?

You mention it's your daughter, rather than a son, so my caution is that as male, we are likely to steamroller objections with practical solutions, rather than catch the emotional content of the objection and address that aspect. Could you talk with her mum and again, avoiding the practical problem-solving, see if there are other worries involved? Does her mum think that this would be great for your daughter but doesn't want the commitment, or is she worried about other aspects that will impact your daughter, but which are harder to articulate?

I have a nephew who was playing at County level when he just packed it in. Turns out he was bored and couldn't see himself progressing and resented the time commitment. His dad was furious... Somehow or other the lad turned out just fine and is now quite successful in his chosen career anyway ;)

VRD

dealtn
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Re: Encouragement for extra curricular activity

#402594

Postby dealtn » April 8th, 2021, 12:37 pm

At the age of 10 I had a County Trial and deliberately played badly so as not to progress! At that age being with my mates on a Saturday seemed more important. Looking back I wish I had a parent that was interested enough to have known what was going on. I won't ever know what alternative path may have been on offer, but I closed that down pretty effectively!

As a parent I found it hard not to want what was best for my kids. The hard bit was getting to know what was best for them - as they weren't the (young) me. I certainly wasn't the pushy parent on the sidelines, but trying to provide the mature view, and the unseen missing bits, that might otherwise lead to later regrets was certainly difficult. My son wasn't particularly talented (but enjoyed taking part in almost anything), but was very laid back and happy to receive advice in a mature before his age type way. My daughter the opposite on both counts. Ultimately she "gave up" on her talented sporting path, and has had no regrets about it (yet - she is still only 15) but will be able to return at her choosing, just for fun whenever she wants too.

Both children have always been receptive to extra-curricular activity both inside and outside of a well resourced school (which certainly helps).

I am friends with a family who had a very talented gymnast, represented age group at National Level, and potential for inclusion in Commonwealth Games selection in what would have been 2 years time. Huge commitments. Gave it all up, almost overnight. No regrets (yet!).

I don't think it will ever be easy "pushing" children into any extra curricular activity, regardless of the benefits. Without a willingness to embrace, and enjoy, that is a difficult path to travel.

anniesdad
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Re: Encouragement for extra curricular activity

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Postby anniesdad » April 15th, 2021, 12:03 am

Thanks for responses. Her reason for lack of interest in part is that she doesn’t want to do this sport as a professional career. And I never wanted or expected that. BUT I see lots of other great benefits to her future, her confidence, her career, her social life, her health etc etc if she does pursue a hobby at a high level that she obviously has some talent for. Yes i agree it looks good on her cv similar to a DofE for justified reasons. I can’t quite vocalise why / how to her and that’s my problem. And yes I know that she needs to have the passion in herself to pursue this. She has had passion in the past up to COVID restrictions so is is her disinterest temporary? One life lesson I have learnt is that if an opportunity comes along, you grab it. Often you will only get the one shot. I didn’t know this as a child.

bluedonkey
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Re: Encouragement for extra curricular activity

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Postby bluedonkey » April 15th, 2021, 9:52 am

"You mention it's your daughter, rather than a son, so my caution is that as male, we are likely to steamroller objections with practical solutions, rather than catch the emotional content of the objection and address that aspect."

That's very perceptive. Although I know it, it is good to be reminded not to always default to my male approach.

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Re: Encouragement for extra curricular activity

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Postby Loup321 » April 19th, 2021, 12:36 pm

My daughter is 9, and our Saturday is dominated by her extra-curricular activities. To be fair, it's only for the summer term when cricket is on (but that also takes some Friday nights), and normally it's only Saturday afternoons that are frenetic. But as I don't drive, and choose to fit changing beds, washing and shopping in on Saturdays as well, we need to be a well-oiled machine from waking until bed on Saturdays. She has fun, and things have gradually progressed as she has grown from age 4 when the performing arts were 90 minutes in a local school and she didn't join the local rubgy team (that was on Sundays, but the cricket the club runs on Saturdays) until she was 6. I can see your daughter's mother's anxiety at the time commitment involved, particularly if they already have plans on the days affected.

I can also see that doing things for the fun of them are completely different from having to take the "fun" stuff seriously. Being selected at County level for anything presumably means that you need to take it seriously. If your heart's not in it, you won't work hard, and then it will build resentment that it is no longer fun. My daughter loves her activities, and doesn't take them seriously. I've seen her play cricket, and she is learning well now that she has started to focus. I've also seen her performing (Zoom sessions in the living room for most of the last two terms!), and she's not as good as others but still tries her best. We've discussed going to auditions for proper stuff, and both agreed that it's not right for her. It's about fun and seeing her friends. It's not about getting a job in musical theatre in later life (she's going to be a YouTuber :roll:). She dropped the rugby after 2 years (which I was quite glad about because it was so cold), and dropped the gymnastics when the easy class was merged in to the hard class for COVID reasons (she had been in the easy class for a long time...). Now it's just the performing arts, cricket and Cubs.

In my opinion, the youngsters should make the decisions and the adults fit round them. For young kids, they don't know what options are available, so the parents (me!) can put them in to performing arts, rugby, cricket, Beavers and gymnastics. Then, as the children grow and understand the time commitments and effort needed (as well as whether they have made good friends there), if they stop enjoying the activities they should be free to leave, or if other friends suggest different activities they should be free to join. Obviously parents might need to judge costs and time clashes, but otherwise the young person should decide what they want to do, and the parents should work round it.


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