Teens can get into trouble when they are bored, home alone, or have nothing to do. After school activities are a great way to help kids develop their interests and keep them occupied and out of trouble. Most teens already have an idea of where their interests lie making it easier for parents to determine which after school activities will best suit their needs.
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While competition is not to be stressed with younger kids, with teenagers, it's time to encourage them to be the best they can be and to excel in their interests. This can mean anything from rooting them on at a swim meet to celebrating their work in a local art show. The key is that you must show your teen that her efforts are appreciated. Make sure, though, that your child understands that there has to be a balance between after school activities and academic achievement.
At this point, your child may have already pinpointed what activities she wants to pursue. Though you may still want her to diversify her interests, encouraging a commitment to her team, art, or field of study can teach her valuable lessons about perseverance and loyalty.