After School Activities

Content

After School Safety - Tips and Reminders

After School Programs and Discipline

Activities That Teach Youth Self-Discipline

Empower the Child

After School Activities and Relationship Building

After School Program - Recreational vs. Educational

After School Activities and Burnout

Keep the Kids Occupied

After School Activities for the Overweight

After School Activity for the Hyperactive Child

Children's eBooks

 

After School Safety –

                                    Tips and Reminders

When parents send their children for after school programs, they take it for granted that the child is safe. But since the number of children participating in these activities has increased, it is necessary to look into safety issues.  

Children are vulnerable when they are outside the classes. While going or returning, they should know the safest route to take. Many kids hang out with their friends just after these classes. Find out 'danger zones' from your neighbours and make the children aware of these.  

The child has to know how to handle emergencies. It is better to discuss various scenarios with your child. Tell her what she should do in case the class is suddenly cancelled. Show her the first-aid kit at home and make sure she knows whom to call in an emergency. Post any important contact information in a place that is easily accessible to the child. If the child will be alone at home, discuss a few unexpected things with her.  

Tell her to use the safety chain ALWAYS.  

Rely on your neighbours and friends when needed. Let your child know who can be contacted at times of emergency.

Ask your child to check in by phone.

Above all, always tell the child to be in a group.

Visiting toilets all alone or going home via isolated streets must be avoided.

 

After School Programs and Discipline

How important is discipline when it comes to after school programs? Since most of the activities are recreational, does a program have to adhere to strict rules? Discipline is just as important here as it is in activities that pertain to the school. The child is sent to a program because you want him to learn more. Discipline in one form or the other is necessary to facilitate learning.  

Every program should begin by laying down the rules. The supervisor or teacher should explain each rule and can thus prevent future mishaps.

Misbehaviour should be addressed as and when it occurs. Deal with the problem in such a manner that it causes the least disruption. It is unwise to turn a blind eye to misbehaviour because it catches on like fire, and soon you will have a bunch of unruly children on your hands. Besides, however much they resist it, children like to operate within the safety net of strict guidelines and rules.

 

When a child misbehaves, it is mostly due to a craving for attention. A supervisor should observe the children and find out what the child wants.

Talk to the child so that you can understand what he or she wants.

Appropriate disciplinary measures should be taken if there are no apparent reasons for bad behaviour.

 

Activities That Teach

                                    Youth Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is a trait that should be developed at an early age. It is critical to all societies because it abounds with complex activities, stresses, and challenges. If you want to become a successful adult, you must be able to develop self-discipline as early as your teenage years. What are some of the activities that teach youth self-discipline?  

A lot of people believe that it is very hard to teach old dogs new tricks. This is definitely true but there are still ways to teach the youth self-discipline. How can you say that a certain individual is disciplined? Well, that is easy to tell and very good examples are little children. Observe kids when parents or caregivers are not around. Well-disciplined children will still act in a reflective and thoughtful manner even without the presence of parents or caregiver.  

When you finally reach your teenage years, more is expected from you by the people who surround you, even your family. You must be able to show others that you’re self-disciplined and that you’re responsible for all your actions.  

If you’re a member of a certain youth group, you can participate in the group activities. If you find yourself unaccepted by other peer groups, your best option is to join a youth group. The youth group will not say no to you and they will welcome you with open arms. But in order to stay in the group, you must let the group members help you with your problems. 

You have to admit to yourself that you lack self-discipline because that is the only time that they can help you. You must be willing to help yourself so that the efforts of the group will not be wasted. Some of the activities prepared by the youth group can teach the members self-discipline. You must take an active part in these activities so that you can see some improvements.  

Group games are usually played by the group. It’s ok to have some fun and play kids games once in a while. It can help all the members unwind and relax. Through kids’ games, the members will learn to control themselves. If you want to be accepted in the group, and not be rejected, you must never show counterproductive behaviours like impulsivity. Negative perceptions often result to uncontrolled behaviour, aggressiveness, and anger. You must learn to control yourself and various youth games can help a lot.  

Sports games can test the self-discipline of youth group members. As a disciplined individual, you will not do anything that can cause misunderstandings or quarrels. You will not cheat just to win. You will only do acceptable actuations so that other group members will not reject you.  

So if you can’t find a peer group that can accept your weaknesses, it is high-time that you start looking for a youth group. Youth groups are widespread nowadays and it’s all up to you to find them. Make sure that you choose a youth group that you really like so that you will not feel any pressure in attending their activities.

 

You can even ask for your parent’s support. That way, they will know what you’re doing.

Being a member of a youth group will help you become a better adult in the near future. 

 

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After School Activities

                              and Relationship Building

After school activities are the rage of the day. With about $500 million invested in these programs and more than 10 million children attending them in America alone, the popularity of these activities cannot be overlooked. Everyone understands the need to develop new skills, gain more knowledge and keep the children safe when parents are working.  

The most important factor in the success of any program is the relationship between the children participating in the program and the adult members who work with these children. Often, children may confide in an adult member who is not a teacher. This kind of emotional interaction is a must when children are struggling to make sense of the whirlpool of emotions that assail them. 

Direct contact with professionals can be an inspiring experience. Children are very much impressed by the knowledge and experience of these adults.

Young people gain a lot of knowledge and experience when they deal with experienced adults and older youth who serve as teachers or mentors in these programs. These mentors are different from the teachers in the school and children are more likely to draw inspiration from them. 

After school activities that are managed professionally by people who are successful in their own fields of expertise will produce children who are more enthusiastic and successful.

Meaningful interaction with adults is a learning experience in itself.

 

After School Program -

                         Recreational vs. Educational 

So, your child is beginning to get restless and make you restless. He has got more time than is good for him, and you are now considering after school programs - anything that will keep him busy for a few life-saving hours! Most after school activities can be broadly classified into three - recreational, educational and society-oriented. The last bit usually comes in when your child is already a bit grown up and can voice his own interests. 

Educational activities aim at furthering the knowledge of your child. His general awareness, his understanding and his memory are targeted and he is given various techniques that will help him improve one or all of these. Programs such as intensive memory training and speed mathematics are educational after school activities. There are academic programs that will go over your child's homework and class work and help the child gain more in-depth knowledge in the various subjects. Thus academic programs have a definite edge over the fun and games, especially if parents feel that their child has a lot of catching up to do. 

Recreational activities include sports and games, fine arts, painting etc. The main thrust here is to have fun. Of course, classes become more competitive as the child climbs up the ladder. Many sport events, competitions, stage performances etc are held to encourage the child.  

When we compare the merits of the two kinds of activities, I believe that the recreational programs have more meat. Firstly, children do not enjoy learning unless they themselves feel curious about something. Most academic programs are standardized courses that are not too flexible. They have a general purpose and a well laid out methodology. After a number of hours at school, the child may feel bored. Further study may overwhelm him and make him feel frustrated. Burnout is very much a possibility here. 

Recreational programs provide a welcome break from the monotony of learning and studies. The mental challenge and the physical exertion make the child feel a renewed zest and a pleasant sense of fulfillment. Group activity teaches him social skills, discipline and patience. It is a proven fact that children involved in extracurricular activities get better grades than others. Sometimes closing the textbooks and playing a game may be the best way to handle your studies. 

Whatever program you choose for your child, regular evaluation is the key to success. You will have to measure the child's progress. If progress is unsatisfactory, shift your child out of the program. The child should also have the freedom to reject an activity if and when he feels bored with it. Generally, programs that combine the educational with the recreational are best suited especially for younger children. This way, children can have fun while they learn.

 

After School Activities and Burnout

For millions of parents around the world, the day does not end with the school bell. There are still pictures to be painted, songs to be sung and games to be played. This all adds up to keeping children happy, safe and out of trouble. But, parents have to steer away from going overboard. 

After school is not baby-sitting:

After school activities thrive only if it is backed by sufficient parental involvement. What would a soccer match be without parents cheering their little heroes from the sidelines?. 

Research and choose:

Instead of convenience being the decisive factor, find out things that will interest your child. Once you select a program, get the fine print and find out what you have to contribute. 

Free time:

Many children attend piano classes, followed by ballet and squeeze in some time for play dates in between just before they rush home in time for bed. This rigor is too much for a child. So, go slow.

 

When to quit:

Often, parents enrol their child in an activity to discover that he may not be the prodigy they thought he would be. This is the time to let go. Your child may not become the next wonder-kid. But, let him cultivate an interest that he enjoys. Remember, happiness and fulfillment are all that matter. 

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After School Activities

                                      for the Overweight

Research and studies show that our children are growing fatter by the day. Many families all over America are struggling to keep the weight of their children within reasonable limits. As a parent, I know that it's nearly impossible for me to look into the tear-filled eyes of my son and refuse food.  

So, what's the alternative? Studies show that the number one reason for obesity in children is not junk food and colas.

It's actually TV and those computer games.

Children tend to plop themselves on the sofa and munch away happily when they are in front of the TV sets. But, once the set is off, their natural buoyancy will lead the children to do stuff and to move their body.

They will then be diverted from eating. 

Recreational after school activities are a must if you feel that your child is beginning to put on undesirable fat. It is better to begin these activities as early as possible. The more weight the child gains, the harder he has to work to shed it.

Football, swimming, skating and Karate are just some activities he can participate in. Structured and disciplined exercise is possible only when one is put into a formal environment.

That is why an overweight child simply

HAS to be put into an after school program of this kind.

 

After School Activity

                               for the Hyperactive Child

ADHD refers to attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder. Most children who suffer from this disorder suffer from attention problems as well as hyperactivity. Parents of such children are well aware that inattention and hyperactivity continue throughout the day. Keeping such children busy after school hours can be as difficult as keeping them safe during the school day. 

The first step while choosing the right after school activity for your child is to understand how ADHD affects him. Is your child interested in sports? Is he put off by the fierce competitiveness, or does he find it hard to get along with teammates? Does your child vocalize his feelings, or is communication a problem?  

For a child suffering from ADHD, physical exercise is always beneficial. Exercise takes up the extra energy and helps to stimulate the brain. Team activities teach social skills and discipline. But, if your child shies away from team sports, you may want to look at activities like dancing, cycling, swimming or gymnastics. Martial arts not only teach techniques of self-defence but also teach self-control and patience.  

If your child shows aversion to sport and shows inclination towards the fine arts, you may need to look at some other options. Acting classes are a wonderful form of creative exercise. It also provides the child with ample opportunity to develop his social skills. Music, art or dance can help the child to keep himself busy and entertained.  

In case the child is not interested in any of the above, you may want him to join a Boy Scouts club or other community oriented clubs that take up social work. Cleaning a park, putting on a show, helping out in an old age home are various activities that may pique your child's interest. 

Whatever form of activity you choose, make sure that you monitor your child's progress periodically. If you feel that there is no progress, you may need to change the activity. Anything that increases your child's self-esteem is good. You may enlist the help of the coach or teacher to assess your child's development. 

There are certain activities that are detrimental to a child suffering from ADHD. Computer and video games are a definite NO. Since these games need no interaction, children will feel all the more isolated. These children also find it difficult to distinguish between the good and the bad messages. They may therefore show an inclination to stick to messages that are not needed. Games that need the child to sit and wait for his turn patiently tax his patience and will not be a success.  

Although you would want these children to be as near to normal as possible, understanding their needs and limits will help you select the right after school activity - one that is fulfilling, tiring as well as challenging. 

 

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Getting the kids to read books is by far more beneficial than playing games especially those brain numbing so called games that just train their brains to think that killing and blowing up anything and everything is the way to have some fun and enjoyment. If they think it is okay when they are young, what effect do you think this will have when they will be older?

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The Team and I wish that this page has been of some help for you in your search for healthier and fitter you and/or your family!

 

Three steps you might follow:

First: To continue your search we recommend that you carry on to our next page concerning Kids and Teens Health Issues at >> http://www.growinggracefullyolder.com/activities-after-school 

Second: Return to the Kids and Teens Health Issues Introduction Page to possibly choose a different subject about this disease >> http://www.growinggracefullyolder.com/kids-teens-health-issues

Third: Have a look at our main site to check out some of our other series concerning other health issues >> http://www.growinggracefullyolder.com

 

The Team and I thank you for checking out this page and wish you and yours a long, healthier and productive life.

Lawrence S Mills