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Extracurricular Activities for Teens

Most people know that after-school activities promote healthy, well-rounded children. Extracurricular activities may help teens and tweens stay on track and out of trouble. Whether your child is in middle school or high school, he should be participating in some sort of after-school activity. Depending on his interests and individual skill-sets, these activities may encourage physical exercise or mental stimulation. In addition, colleges and universities also take note of extracurricular organizations in which potential students participate.

Take Your Pick of Extracurricular Activities

Kids can pick from a wide variety of after-school activities, whether school or community sponsored. These activities prohibit drug and alcohol use, which will encourage your child to focus on academics and other skills. To find the right activity for your child, consider his unique abilities and the talents that he wishes to enhance.

  • Athletics. One of the most popular forms of extracurricular activities is sports, and for good reason. Most schools and community organizations offer a wide array of sports that cater to everybody's individual interests. Sports can be played year round and offer students the ability to become part of a team and engage in physical exercise. Colleges and universities also offer sports scholarships for those that excel in certain arenas. Whether your child dreams of becoming the next Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, or Mia Hamm, there's a sport out there for him.
  • Arts. Students who have an interest in play productions, artwork, dance, and/or music may want to consider joining after-school activities that promote these skills. Many middle schools and high schools have drama and art clubs, choirs, and marching bands. Engaging in these art-related activities will encourage your child to advance his interests and continue them later on in life.
  • Student government. Nearly every high school has a student government, voted on by their peers. Students who take part in their school government are given the chance to speak up and address issues or concerns before peers and school administrators. In many cases, student governments raise money and awareness for charities and school organizations. Colleges and universities have student governments as well, which will give your child the opportunity to continue his participation.
  • Academic Organizations. Besides classroom work, students can choose to be part of academic organizations, such as the mathematics club, the history organization, etc. Members of these clubs are often asked to become tutors to their peers, and nothing could look better on a college application. Additionally, these clubs offer students the rare ability to network with alumni and working professionals in that specific field.

Make sure your adolescent is given ample time to breathe and take a break from all his activities. School, extracurricular activities, and social pressures can breed stress and cause your child to feel overwhelmed. Encourage your child to relax once in a while and to take time out for himself.