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Importance of Extracurricular Activities and Its Effects on Teenagers

The way kids grew up in the 70s and 80s is totally different from how kids are growing up in today’s digital era. In the 70s and 80s, fun for kids consisted of going outside to play and being back home before the street lights came on. Today, kids’ ideas of fun are playing violent video games or staying glued to their phones on social media.

If you really think about it, it’s pretty fair to say that as technology advanced throughout the years, you couldn’t do anything but expect people to adapt to the advancements. But some of these advancements are negatively impacting our youth; teenagers in particular.

From the moment children are born, their minds are made to absorb information. That’s how they learn. Their minds are like sponges so to say, picking up social cues and skills, educational learning, and behaviors, both good and bad. They’re so impressionable that parents have to take special precautions to watch what they say and do around their kids.

Well, that’s the life they live at home, but once they grow up and enter high school, where every kind of bad influence you can think of will have an effect on them, you can only hope that everything you’ve taught them thus far sticks with them and will help them to have good judgment and make smart decisions.

Helping Your Teen Overcome Teenage Pressures

As mentioned earlier, the way kids grew up in the 70s and 80s are totally different from how kids are growing up today. The types of influences teenagers face now are on a new level than influences of the past.

Sure, teenagers still face the pressures of drugs and alcohol but there’s a new world of pressures to throw into the mix now. Things like social media and television shows have not only taken a toll on the mental health of teenagers but they have also increased the suicide rate among youth by 56% in the past 10 years.

According to, black youth suicide attempts have increased to 73%. The report states that systemic issues like police brutality, racism, gender identity, and poverty are driving the numbers. So the question is what can be done to help youth in overcoming teenage pressures and making smarter decisions?

As an adult, some of the issues they’re going through aren’t a big deal because you’ve “been there, done that,” and a simple “just ignore them” comment will not provide the solution. To help your teenager know their self-worth, know that their life is worth living, and that they can make their own decisions, you can’t just sit around and watch things unfold… you have to take action.

You, of course, want to talk to your kids, first and foremost. It’s so important to establish a relationship with your child to make them feel that they can talk to you about anything, even if it makes you uncomfortable. The other way to help your teen overcome teenage pressures is to get them involved in extracurricular activities.

Importance of Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities have somewhat become a lost art form for helping teens overcome difficult pressures. Because teenagers are perfectly content with staying on their phones all day, parents don’t even realize the damage it’s doing to their minds and self-confidence. Whether it’s getting your child private violin lessons or having them join the school’s marching band, there are tremendous benefits that come from extracurricular activities that go beyond keeping them out of trouble.

Higher Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

Achieving success is part of feeling good about yourself, and extracurricular activities provide the resources for teens to build self-confidence and self-esteem. Whether it’s basketball, soccer, or the arts, your teen will be working on mastering a new skill in an environment that doesn’t have the pressure of getting a good grade.

Because these environments are more relaxed, your teen can have fun and achieve success, which will then improve their confidence and make them more open to achieving success in other areas of their life.

Better Focus and Academic Performance

Lots of parents, and even students, worry that extracurricular activities will take them away from their school work and make their grades drop but it indeed does the exact opposite… in fact, students who participate in extracurricular activities actually have improved grades.

The thing about extracurricular activities and how it improves focus and academic performance all lies in the passion your student has for the extracurricular activity. When your student is passionate about a sport or skill, it increases their brain function and helps them concentrate and manage their time more efficiently. In doing that for the extracurricular activity they’re passionate about, it also trickles into their academics, helping them to focus and perform better in school.

Enhanced Social Skills and Cues

Making friends is something that comes easier for some more than others, and that’s okay, but one of the best ways for your teen to make friends is to get them involved in extracurricular activities.

Every extracurricular activity they’re involved in gives them the opportunity to meet someone new and build a friendship with them, especially if they join a team. This will actually help them later on in life when it comes to finding a job or building a business.

In the workforce, they’re going to need to have the networking skills to interact with others to market their brand or a product… They’re going to need the social skills to even find their significant other later on in life… You just never know where this skill may come in handy.

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