The Benefits of Doing Extracurricular Activities
Do you do any extracurricular activities? Whether it’s an art class, dance group, painting club, chess club or the debate team, the extracurricular activities that you do are actually more beneficial than you would think.
Here are a few great reasons why that sports club or drama group you attend every Tuesday is actually really helpful:
1. You can build your social skills
It’s likely that your fellow members of the group you’re involved in will have similar interests as you, so that can make it easier for you to build conversation. Being involved in an extracurricular group can help you to feel more confident speaking to your peers, and you might make a few friends along the way!
2. It can help you be more organised
Being part of an extracurricular group means that you probably have to follow a structure, i.e. knowing what days meetings are, knowing what time you have to be there for etc. So you might not realise it, but you could be improving your time management and organisation skills as well as having fun at your extracurricular group.
3. You can gain a better understanding of long-term commitments
Taking part in an extracurricular activity is an excellent way in understanding how to manage a long-term commitment. You may be part of your group for a few months at a time, so you’ll learn how to manage certain aspects of your daily life around your extracurricular commitment.
4. They are lots of FUN
Whilst there are many practical benefits to being part of an extracurricular group, one obvious but really important benefit is that they allow you to have fun and enjoy yourself!
Getting your relationship with a foster child just right can be challenging. Too much distance and you seem uncaring, but at the same time becoming overly-attached is also inappropriate. One great way to establish a rapport with the child is through accompanying them to fostering community events. It’s likely this is the kind of context that would place both of you on a level playing field with each other, as both of you may well be outsiders, not knowing anyone else in attendance.
As you learn during the recruitment process, one of your primary responsibilities as a foster carer is to ensure the child builds or continues to maintain social contacts, with the following points to concentrate on:
- Understand the value of contact with other children in foster care
- Encourage the child to make friends and socialise as much as possible
- Facilitate them building support networks through joining clubs or groups
- Motivate the child to reach their full potential
Community events are thereby ideal for fulfilling these necessities, as all of them can be facilitated by fosterers and children gathering in a social setting. This is reflected across society: without a surrounding community, all people – certainly not just foster children – tend to struggle. With this in mind, the experiences of a great number of foster children, who have struggled with isolation, should serve as examples going forwards.
By and large, these children don’t come from the most stable of family units. One consequence of this tends to present itself as a difficulty to place themselves in wider social groups and communities as they grow older – primarily because they never had a great start in this sense to begin with.
Added to this is the fact that many children are moved around frequently, and it becomes obvious how much greater the need for a sense of community really is amongst foster children – where before there may have been none.
So you see that your push to include a foster child in community events is a very significant step to breaking them out of the more problematic cycles of behaviour that unsuccessful placements are at risk of creating.