Is choice a good thing?
We are incredibly fortunate to live in a time where there are so many extra-curricular activities for our children to try and enjoy. When I was growing up in South Wales, my choices were limited to dance, sport or music lessons. Yet, nowadays children can try yoga, zumba, kick boxing, pilates – you name it, your child can try it! And that is wonderful.
however, what worries me slightly is that because there is SO much choice out there, parents feel that their children have to try everything. The result is that children chop and change all the time and don’t commit to one activity wholeheartedly. Had David Beckham’s parents sent him to football lessons for a term, then tennis, then rugby, then swimming, would he have become the football star we all know? Or would he have just been average at many sports? (Well maybe better than average, but certainly not the star he is today).
It’s a tricky one because as a parent you want your child to try out as many things as possible to see what they love the most. You want them to commit to something so they can get the most out of it and, let’s face it, we typically master something through practice and it’s a great feeling when you finally achieve that breakthrough or reach the next level of improvement.
Being the Principal at Perform, I know how rewarding it is to the children, parents and teachers to see a child flourish in our classes. They flourish because they come along every week, they have fun, they participate in all the games and activities, they learn the dances and songs… and they grow in confidence.
So my question is this: is choice actually all it’s cracked up to be? My personal feeling is that choice is brilliant, but as a parent we need to be sensible and give our children a proper chance to commit to a subject for an extended length of time. This will give them – and you - clarity on what really interests them.
I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts. Has your child benefited from trying a lot of classes? Or have you found that your child was only really interested in one or two activities and that they’ve gained a lot from sticking with them?