Parents often ask the following questions: Is enrolling my child in extracurricular activities in addition to school or camp a good thing? How many activities are considered too many? What do I do if my child doesn’t like the activity, even though I know it is good for them? How do I choose the best activity for my child when there are many different activities available?
With many young athletes crossing my path, it’s not unusual to hear comments from them like: “They push me too much” or, “They’re always on my case about what I’m doing at practice.” Not surprisingly, many young athletes feel pressured and pushed by their parents. In contrast, many parents believe in ‘the push.’ “If I didn’t push my daughter to practice, she wouldn’t be as good as she is. I have to get after her sometimes.” Or, parents agonize over what is the right amount to push: “How can I ever know if I am doing damage or not? I want to be there and be supportive, but sometimes she looks at me like I have hurt her feelings.”
I can remember my mom looking through Calgary’s Child Magazine every Spring to find summer camp programs for me and my sister. That was many years ago, and since then, I grew from a camper to a leader, and most recently, a coordinator, providing summer camp programming to children across Calgary.
Year after year, you have watched your child be on the outside of groups. You have sat in parent-teacher conferences and listened to the teacher say that your child needs to talk more. You have struggled to make sense of your child’s quiet, observant nature. Is it concerning? Should your child be talking more? Should your child have more friends?
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