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After school activities: Initial enthusiasm in after school activities tends to wane after the first excitement is over. This is but natural. The trick is to keep up the hard work even after this. How do you keep your child motivated? This is of particular importance when the child goes in for educational after school programs.
Make the career-academics connection early on: Let your child understand how important studies are. Let him know that an excellent career is wholly dependent on wholesome learning. To develop his interest in studies, plan family activities that are connected with his studies. Emphasize the real-world connection to academics whenever possible.
Set goals: Let your child know, through example, that hard work will be rewarded. If your child believes that achievement is a natural by-product of effort, he is more likely to put in hard work. Such children are also less likely to drop out of programs and college at a later stage.
Reward success When a child achieves something, it is necessary to praise his hard work. Positive reinforcements enhance confidence and increase self-esteem. Conversely, beware of criticism. It can ruin the frail ego of children and play havoc with their minds.
Over-scheduling kids Several studies are expressing a growing concern that after school programs are pressurizing kids to do too much too soon. They point out that when a child's afternoon is filled with classes, trips, sports and other forms of organized activities, kids do not really get the time to be just kids. They are even being deprived of the cherished family time. Undoubtedly, there are children who are being burdened with a schedule that places too much demand on their time.
This leads to increased levels of stress on the child and the family. As regular studies cannot be ignored, children are almost always on the run to achieve more. Such children are really bearing a burden that is too heavy for their frail little shoulders. In an ideal world, all children would go home directly after school to loving and caring parents who are waiting for the children to come home.
But the social and economic realities show that many children have to attend after school courses because there is no one available at home. For such children, these classes are a boon. Parents should however restrain themselves from reading too much into these activities. After school programs are complimentary in nature. They give additional support. Therefore, their importance should also be limited.