In today’s podcast we are going to talk about extracurricular activities. Are they valuable for our kids? How do we make them valuable. What should we avoid as we navigate the extracurricular world?
Our family loved basketball and trying new sports. We decided as a family to be very involved in our extra-curricular activities. Don coached most of the kid’s teams. Suz traveled to every home and away game, and all the siblings’ attended games unless they had a conflict.
Maybe your family loves music or art. Maybe your family enjoys hunting and being outside. Whatever activity your family leans towards is great! Today, talk about the value of these activities and how to build strong relationships during them.
How Are Activities Valuable to the Parent-Kid Relationship?
Teaches kids the value of being good at something, working toward a goal
A great way to spend time and invest in the relationship
Something the parent enjoys too!
Don loves basketball. Everyone in our family played because he is so passionate about it. To this day, we have family basketball games and everyone jumps in to play! It is part of our family culture. Mannings play basketball.
How Did We Decide What Activities to do as a Family?
For the sake of our family’s health, we decide each kid could play one sport in the Fall and one in the Spring. There were a few exceptions to this rule and kids left the house for college and we had more capacity. In the younger years, this was our main strategy.
We also wanted our kids to try new things. Madeline tried soccer for a few years. All the girls played volleyball throughout middle and high school. Macy tried softball and McKenzie took art classes all through school (even into college.)
We wanted our kids to know they could try new things! It’s important to help them discover passion and gifts. Extracurricular activities is a great way to discover!
How Can Parents be Their Best When it Comes to Extracurricular Things? What Should They Do and Not Do?
Often times parents want to “help” their kids be great but we get a little lost in the competition, the success, or just the desire to be great. Here are a few ways parents can help their relationship with their kids:
Let the coaches coach and you be the encourager
Support the coaches/teachers
Teach respect for the authorities
Talk with your kids about the activity; give them an out
We had great conversations with our kids when they wanted to quit a sport or activity. It was an opportunity to challenge them to be who God made them to be. As parents, we get to encourage our kids and call the greatness out of them. We need to be mature enough to set our reputation and preference aside and help them.
How Do Parents Build the Fall Calendars & Build Relational Lines?
We could talk about this forever! There are so many good ways to build a healthy, sustainable calendar. We learned through a lot of failed Fall seasons and are better because of it.
Here are a few main takeaways:
Give yourself grace. Allow your family to fail and learn for next semester
Don’t get caught up in the “world’s definition of success”
Value teaching them the sport over playing in games
Use games, shows, and recitals as a family event. Get everyone to come!
Re-evaluate before each semester and invite God into the building
Parents, you are capable of saying no. You can create a schedule for your family and watch it strengthen your family lines. You can equip your kids with family values through extracurricular activities.
What is one thing you can do this week to surrender your family’s calendar to God and create values within each activity?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Cancel one activity
Add an activity!
Put church as a priority for your family this season
Have a family conversation about activities and see what each kid wants
Date night with your spouse to honestly share how you are doing
If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].