Extracurriculars Don’t Equal Success

Have you ever been forced into extracurricular activities by your parents?

Nowadays, some parents make their kids do extracurricular activities like piano lessons or painting because they think extracurricular activities can cultivate children’s interest and other parents think it will help children to enhance self-confidence. However, I disagree. I don’t think making kids participate in extracurricular activities is necessary for children.

Currently, a lot of parents force extracurricular activities on children because they want their children to learn skills like teamwork and leadership. 
For example, if children are passionate about coding, they might join the school coding club, where they’ll develop teamwork, problem-solving and analytical-thinking skills.

Additionally, most parents think that learning extracurricular activities will bring many benefits to children. It can enhance children’s self-confidence. For example, children working on projects outside of class can find their strengths and become inspired to improve on areas where they have weaknesses. Also, extracurricular activities can teach them social skills. Children can learn how to cooperate and collaborate with their classmates and teachers, and they can develop important leadership skills.

At the same time, have you ever thought about why most parents want their children to have those skills?

According to Jennifer Senior in a Ted Talk , most parents give extracurricular activities to children because they want their kid to succeed.

“Until fairly recently, kids worked, on our farms primarily, but also in factories, mills, mines. Kids were considered economic assets,” Senior said.

Senior described how after children were no longer allowed to work to support a household, that parenting changed. “Children became economically worthless but emotionally priceless,” Senior said. “Until nearly ten years, parents realized that if they wanted kids to succeed, school is not enough.“

Today, extracurricular activities are kids’s new work. Parents prepare every possible kind of future for children because they may not know what children are interested in.

In addition, scheduling kids’s extracurricular activities makes parents miserable

According to Elissa Strauss from CNN, in a survey,” 35% of parents say that managing their child’s school and extracurricular transportation arrangements is more stressful than taxes.” Parents must pick up the children every day while they don’t have their own time to relax or take a rest. But still, they want their kid to succeed.

Other research shows that extracurricular activities make children stressed. According to an article from Rowan University, Dr. Jennifer Caudle notes that the survey found that “44% of children say they are worried about doing well in extracurricular activities,” because their parents want them to have a successful life through extracurricular activities.

Instead of giving children extracurricular activities, parents should focus on how to help kids be more productive. 

According to a Lifehack article published by Amy Morin, a psychotherapist, “Establish[ing] a schedule and motivat[ing] children with a reward can help parents to make a productive kid.” For example, if children get an A on their math exam, parents could buy a PS4 for them. In order to get a reward, children will make a schedule and work hard for the goal.

From my perspective, I think even if children don’t take any extracurricular activities, they will be fine because I believe it’s important to make a productive kid rather than to have extracurricular activities. Children can learn how to be independent and get a sense of accomplishment at work.

Indeed, every parent wants their children to have a successful life. Giving extracurricular activities to children doesn’t mean children will succeed. However, every child is unique, children have no responsibility to achieve the expectation of their parents. Therefore, parents should support what the children want to do so that they will have a happy life.