Oct 7, 2009

Involvement in academic and athletic extracurricular activities is a big part of your teen's highschool years. It gives them a chance to express them selves by participating in one of the various programs the school or your community offers. It's true that this is an excellent way to help teens make friends with like minded peers while learning valuable social skills. However, the benefits don't stop when they walk across the stage and receive their diploma. Many students will go on to enter the work place or further their education. It is on these places that the skills they learn will give them the edge they need to make their way in an adult world.

  • Team Work: One of the biggest things employers look for in job candidates is their willingness to work as a team. Team work is often emphasized in college and universities classrooms where professors know and therefore teach it's importance in the real world. What can prepare your son or daughter more about team work than actually being part of a team. Being part of a team helps them hone the skills necessary to interact with their peers in a respectful manner.
  • Goals: As a member of a sports team or club, your child will be responsible for meeting individual or group goals. For this reason, extracurricular activities is an excellent way to help your teen learn the fundamentals of goal building, something that is necessary in the work place. Goals help the individual keep site of where they are and where they would like to be.
  • Responsibilities: As an active member of a team or club, individuals are held responsible for things like attendance and participation. When a member doesn't respect their responsibilities they will face consequences much like an adult would in the work place. Failure to be responsible can get you benched or suspended from team activities and in the workplace it could get you fired. Students who learn to take their responsibility seriously will carry that into their careers.
  • Respect for Rules: Sure you may have rules that your son or daughter must follow but it's the outside world that really teaches them the importance of following rules. Rules, much like responsibilities, can make or break a persons career. When rules are not followed on the field it will result in penalties that will effect their play. Likewise, rules in the work place must be followed to make sure the weeks end bring a pay check and not a pink slip.
  • Conflict Resolution: When two or more people work together for a common purpose there are bound to be conflicts. Since each individual sees the world through their own eyes, not everyone will approach problems the same way. This is very true when it comes to extracurricular activities. While one student may feel a particular play is the best option, another student may believe there is a better way to reach the goal. Ultimately, for the team or club to succeed there will have to be a conflict resolution. This is a very important part of work place success and therefore learning it early on can save your teen from problems in the future.
  • Resume Building: Whether it's their college application or a job resume, extracurricular activities along with academic performance will put your teen at an advantage. To employers involvement in these shows the individual was able to balance work and play. In other words, they were able to take on various projects at the same time, something that is very important in the work force.

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