My husband and 6-year-old son are currently battling over what extracurricular activity my little guy is going to do this fall. (I’m trying to only have one after-school activity per child since we also have church one of the weeknights.)
My little guy has decided he wants to do the Cub Scouts. He said a lady came by the classroom and told them they get to ride in paddleboats and go camping! He was sold!
Michael of course wants him to be playing a sport – any sport. I pretty much put my foot down about our community’s competitive, tackle, 3 and 4-day a week football program. (Too much time and money for a 6-year-old. Also too physical at this age.) I have been collecting brochures for the local flag football league that has practice and a game on the same day – the weekend (so Dad can help go to practice). I also gathered brochures for a different basketball program and T-Ball programs.
Walsh says he’s not interested in any of those sports. He just wants to join the Cub Scouts.
Michael says we’re the parents so we should decide what extracurricular activities our children do. But he’s not saying that in regards to the cost, safety or appropriateness of the activity. He’s saying it purely on what activity he would choose to do and what he wants his kid playing.
I think the kids are already required to do so much at school, church and home that at least let them choose, within reason, what club or activity they join.
I think it’s perfectly fine to encourage your child to pursue an activity – for example I would like for Rose to try an instrument. However, there’s too much going on to fight with a child every week and make them do an activity they don’t enjoy!
What do you think: Who chooses your children’s extracurricular activities? How much say does the kid get? How many do you allow them choose? Who makes the final decision? What weighs the most in making the decision: Interest of the child, advantage to them later in life (resume building), cost, convenience, number of practices?