- Activities are important for your child's development
- Do not over schedule
- Prioritize activities for your kid
- Find cheaper activities if necessary
Why are activities for kids important?
While school provides an outlet for your child to learn and explore, participating in activities outside school can really make a difference to your child. It gives your child the opportunity
- to make new friends
- to have a wider experience of the world
- to explore their own skills
- even to push their limits
Challenges for divorced parents
After divorce, activities for your child can be hard to weave into the already stressful situation you find yourself in. However being able to continue your child's activities provides a sense of continuity to your child which can help them in this time of change. It gives them a familiar environment with people they know and allows them to focus on something else other than the divorce and resulting upheaval. Do not over schedule activities to the point where you are rushing from one to the next with your child. This just creates stress for you and for your kid at a time when both of you are least able to deal with it.
Money can become tight after divorce and many activities can get quite expensive. Hopefully both you and your ex can recognize the importance of continuing the activity for your child and you can share the expense but there are times when it is just not possible to continue for financial reasons.
Try looking for a cheaper alternative such as scouting/girl guides. A child may have a hard time moving to a new activity but it is worth it to keep them involved in activities.
Another possibility is to get together with other parents and take turns running an activity for the kids.
If you are co-parenting, then you both need to commit to helping and encouraging your child participate in their activities. This is especially important if classes, practises or lessons fall on different custody days. Each parent will have to take care of the activity schedule on their custody days. A commitment in writing in your parenting plan is ideal.
If the other parent is not prepared to bring the kid back and forth, then offer to drive your kid yourself or ask if you can arrange have another parent drive your kid. If you still get no cooperation, the best thing to do is to try to find an activity that falls on your custody days. Do not tell your kid that you are changing activities due to their other parent. That can ruin your child's ability to enjoy themselves and make them reluctant to participate because their parents will fight over it.
What are the best kind of activities for your kid?
Try to expose your child to a variety of activities and see what catches their interest. See if there is an activity that both you and your kids can participate in to help you bond better.You can increase their social skills by involving them with kids of their own age and provide them with friends outside of the school setting.
Here are a few ideas
- Artistic - art, photography, pottery, scrap booking
- Collecting - anything
- Community - girl guides, scouts, charity
- Skills - gardening, cooking
- Adventure - hiking, rafting
One way to find activities is to write a list and ask your child to pick out 5 activities with you. Both of you commit to each one of the five for a set amount of time or a set number of lessons and at the end of the rotation, see which one your child is most interested in.