Finding the right out of school clubs

There seems to be more and more pressure these days to push your child to be the best, to do more to be more to reach their hidden potential before they hit double figures. To compete and out do other children and parents in the ‘my child is amazing at ……..’

This being said there always has been this attitude around and the range of activities, clubs, groups, societies you can enter your children to is vast and knowing which one is the best for your child can be hard. Are you wanting to push your child, help them grow or give them something to do they enjoy? People booking their children into all sorts of classes before they can even walk. Is this their dream or the parents? Is it healthy to push them into something that they really don’t want to do or are completely unaware of?

I am of the last persuasion, I want Olivia to do things she will enjoy and if I am paying for it I don’t want to be wasting my money on a club she hates or something she isn’t all that good at or progressing in.

When I was younger I had a friend who done disco dancing, I know sooΒ very 90’s, but she won all kinds of competitions and had fabulously sparkly outfits and it looked so much fun. Me on the other hand had, and still have 2 left feet! So when Olivia started school and some of her friends were in a dance school I thought I would try my hardest to get her in and see how she went. She ended up staying from the age of 3 until she was 7. And she learnt absolutely nothing. The same steps, the same songs, the same routines and shambles of a show at the end of the school year. I would of gotten more satisfaction throwing my money down the drain so I pulled her out she never went back in September at all.

This left me with the issue if what, if any new clubs should she join? She loves all kinds of dancing and singing so I tried these routes and everything got a no so I didn’t push it. My niece joined a local gymnastic club and within weeks was performing and winning at all kinds of competitions so now one of my other nieces has joined too along with one of Olivia’s school friends. This has brought about the “I want to go too” out of Olivia even though we have been asking her for a long time and she as been saying no. Time will tell and if she really wants to go I will sign her up.

Not wanting to be the pushy parent I am trying to get her to try things that she enjoys doing anyway, like swimming but she doesn’t want to join that club. Martial arts, no. Football, no but…. Tennis she adores! Having taken part in a course in school once a week she loved it last year and is currently doing it again now every Wednesday after school. I also pushed her to do Zumba on a Tuesday in school too she had to go to the first one but if she didn’t like it she didn’t have to go back and I was right she loved it! Tuesday is now the highlight of her week.

I will be trying to get her into a tennis club in the future but is there a point when you need to draw the line? When it stops becoming fun? How many is too many clubs? Or do you disagree with the whole idea of extra curricular activities?

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  1. I did gymnastics when I was little, I wanted my daughter to do it too, but she didn't instead she asked to do hockey after seeing it at a sports event, she has been attending hockey weekly since october and loves it, she is pretty good too, #sharewithme

  2. Great post and it's finding that balance. I did lots of after school clubs, my folks took my brother and I to a lot then we naturally chose the ones we loved-piano and tennis really stood out for me! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

  3. This is what I have to look forward to with both of mine. I really don't know where the fine line between getting involved and too much is. I have always been a too much kinda girl and get burned out. So I hope in my parenting I would be the complete opposite. Great post. Good luck. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

  4. 20 mins a night! My daughter hasn't had any homework this school year at all! We have kids who are so busy in our school I am surprised they have time to go to school! Thanks for your comment

  5. I do think too many parents are pushing kids into things because they want it, rather than the kids do.
    If my children want to join something that's fine, but these activities are rarely cheap so if / when they start to show they aren't enjoying it I'd pull them out!
    I'd much rather be able to say "my kids are really good at being kids" than send them to a class they don't enjoy

  6. I LOVED disco when I was little!!! So Much!!! My girl started ballet and she loved it. Then did tap too. And then one day? She wept and wept. And refused to go for weeks so it broke my heart but we stopped her going. I will defo get her to go to a few more clubs when she is a bit older! xxx

  7. Its really good to encourage your children to do activities they enjoy rather than do ones that everyone else is doing.

  8. I think many parents are putting too much stress on their young children with activities and clubs after school and at weekends. I know my daughter was exhausted towards the end of term as many of her school friends were, especially those who seemed to have clubs everyday. I also read somewhere about children needing downtime and free play time, that they are too stressed these days. Schools alone are tiring and demanding (especially schools like my daughters primary school that gave children 20 mins of homework a night at the age of 4!!). Give children a break. If they are interested then fine, but I don't agree with overloading their schedules. Sorry for the rant. Great post!