Participating in a few after-school activities is good for tweens and teenagers. They build skills, stay out of trouble, and learn to be part of a team or group.
The problem: many kids burn out on extra-curricular activities early on.
Tips for avoiding burnout:
- Before signing up, ask previous participants whether they got a chance to join in, whether the instructor worked well with older children, and the clincher: whether they would do it again.
- Nix the formal program and take kids skating, swimming, or to church yourself. You may not be the world’s best teacher, but at least you can give them one-on-one attention and special time with you.
- Let your child enroll with a friend. Learning is more fun in pairs.
- If constant interaction with their peers at school, daycare, and after-school activities is getting to your child, hire an instructor to teach language or piano at your home instead.
- Attend amateur performances of ballet, theatre, music, or sports where tweens and teens are doing the performing. Even if you don’t inspire your kids to take lessons, you have exposed them to something worthwhile.
- Take a break. Some kids really don’t want to hop into a cold pool in the dead of winter. So relax and sign them up again in spring.