NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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Get in the Game!

Get in the Game!  10/25/19Peer identity starts to become more important to a child by the time he or she is about nine or ten years old.  For that reason, this can be a great time for them to choose a club or group to join.

As 9-10 year olds, or fourth graders, children have a need to belong to a group.   Group among this age group may develop on their own, and they can be positive or negative. 

As parents, we are wise to research the variety of clubs and activities available for our child. We need to consider things such as: 

  • How are the groups organized and led
  • How much time will this group/activity will really take
  • How many or how often the group has practices or meetings
  • What the expectations are regarding parent participation
  • What the costs and expenses will be, including the incidentals (“Oh by the way…”)
  • If participation in this group/activity will take more than its fair share of the family resources 
  • If the goals of the group match or agree with your family’s beliefs and values
  • How interested and possibly committed your child is to the group or activity

Because every child needs to feel accepted and worthwhile, it is advised that we choose a group where successes are applauded and failures are minimized.  It is also important to choose activities that will help the child build personal skills, and that he or she can compare with his or her past performances, but not necessarily to others.

Joining groups or taking classes can be overdone. Parents need to help their child adjust to and balance his or her activities and set realistic expectations based on the child’s developing interests and abilities.  It is important to be attentive and observant, and ask ourselves questions.  For example: 

  • Can the child succeed?
  • Does the child enjoy the task?
  • Does the child need instruction and assistance?
  • Is the activity frustrating and upsetting to the child?
  • Can the child succeed with encouragement and a little help?

It’s OK for our children to have to “work hard” at something.  Support your child’s interests and opportunities to participate and grow.

Adapted from NDSU Extension Parenting Posts grade 4, November

Photo Source:  https://www.needpix.com/photo/1578987/children-friendship (downloaded 10/29/19)

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