Kids and Extracurricular Activities: What’s Marriage parenting

Kids and Extracurricular Activities: What’s Marriage Got to do With It?

Posted on Posted in Blog, Extracurricular Parenting

Kids and Extracurricular Activities: What’s Marriage Got to do With It?

 
Do your kiddos participate in extracurricular activities?  I didn’t see an extracurricular activity until I hit middle school.  The kiddos on the other hand have been at it since they were three.  You know how it is when you sign your little one up.  While you complete the registration form, you don’t say it, but secretly you hope that perhaps they could be the next Debbie Allen, Gabby Douglas or LeBron James – maybe it’s just me.  And you have every intention of making sure you help them reach all of their dreams, until that is you learn all of the tiny details nowhere in the registration packet.
Sometimes there is only one class that your child is eligible to take and wouldn’t you know it, the class starts almost an entire hour before you get off work. Unless you are self-employed, have an extremely flexible schedule or have the ability to be in two places at once, then you have to look your little one in the eye and let them know, straight… no chaser,  that you won’t be able to support them in their dreams this year because mommy gets off at five and the class starts at 4.
Then there are the fees.  You register thinking you will pay the monthly or upfront fee only. Not even.  Later on you find out that there are fees this year for new uniforms, or now your little one has advanced and needs two costumes instead of just one.  Or there is a recital and end of the year party fee.  Or better yet a game to be played – three entire states away! And who’s gonna tell their little one, practicing all these months, they can’t participate in the recital or the final game? Anyone? Anyone?  Well, only if you really have to.  But if not, you take another look at the budget and see if there is any fat left to be trimmed.
According to a recent report by the U.S. Census 57% of children between 6 and 17 years old participate in at least one after-school extracurricular activity.  The report also found that children were more likely to participate in sports (35%) than clubs or lessons like music, dance and language (both around 29%). Most telling is that the report found that:
Children living with married parents are more likely to participate in sports, clubs or lessons than children living with cohabiting parents or a single parent.
After living life once as a single mama it's no wonder why.  It takes two incomes to keep up with all the surprise fees in extracurricular activities for one child, let alone two or three.  If you’re lucky, single parent or not, you’ve grandparents who love you, your children and who still have a driver’s license they can actually use.  If not then you have to pay a nanny or sitter to help out, which will cost you more money!
God bless the single mamas and dads who are doing their best to keep their children in extracurricular activities – and let me not forget the grandparents, aunties and uncles who help out.  In all honesty without the hubby, and grandparents too as back up, if the kiddos wanted to get involved in extracurricular activities they would have to sit at home and no doubt wait for that cherished day when they begin middle school.

 

Do you rely on help from family and friends for the kiddo’s extracurricular activities?


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