Extracurricular Activities

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Extracurricular Activities
Fri, 08-30-2013 - 2:12pm

So, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before that Cooper just has no interests outside of the house.  He doesn't want to play sports at all.  We've tried Scouts. He isn't quite old enough to be involved in music (he's 10- that's next year in school).  What can I encourage him to do? I worry most about him in his teen years as he's quite stubborn and independent.  I worry he'll get into trouble if he isn't kept busy so I really want to help foster some interests now.  Would you require your kiddos to be involved in *something*?

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 08-30-2013 - 3:08pm

10 years old is not at all too early to be involved in music.  My kids started on piano at 7yo, and in our public school they start instruments in 4th grade (9yo).  If your school doesn't offer music yet, he can try private or small group lessons on piano and guitar.

My kids were never any good at team sports.  However all of them tried karate; one dropped it after a year, one kept it up from 1st through 7th grades and stopped one belt short of black belt; and the oldest took to it like a duck to water - started at 9yo, junior black belt at 15yo, and kept it up until college.

Other sports that don't involve team play are other martial arts, tennis, swimming, and fencing.

Besides music and those sports, my kids have done after-school enrichment, theatre, summer art classes, Scouts, and community service volunteering (at least one member of our family has volunteered at the local food pantry for the last 12 years, starting when they were maybe 10yo).

Not participating is not an option.  Activities, not classrooms, are where kids make friends and what they look back on when they graduate high school.  My now-21yo had a hard time handling more than 2-3 extracurricular activities at a time, but my 18yo was a crazy active participant in middle & high school:  cello in many ensembles, drama club, literary/art magazine, swimming, tennis, etc.  13yo DS has had to scale back what he does because there are only so many days in a week, but he still plays cello, piano & guitar, takes tennis lessons, goes to religious ed, and volunteers at the food pantry.  He gave up Scouts and karate in the last year because he enjoyed them the least and he needed to focus more and do less.  Not every kid needs to be like my DD, but every kid should be occupied with things other than home and academics.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Fri, 08-30-2013 - 11:00pm

Ds did not like team sports at first either.  Individual sports are great because they are life time sports, let's face it, ds is not going to call 25 guys to play a quick game of lacrosse.  He also likes tennis and golf, in 20 years, he can still play those regularly!  Art, music and the like enrich the soul.  My kids did choir at that age, and later band.   They were in plays, environmental clubs, took foreign languages, etc....

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!