The non millennials spent all their time playing outdoors, the boys would play cricket while the girls would play hopscotch or they would all get together to play catch. After school activity only meant heading outdoors or finishing up homework. Only a few children would indulge in other activities like music, dance or art depending on their proximity to these arts, if the class was in their neighborhood or if their family was into it.
Millennials of today
Drawing, singing, football, cricket, tennis, mind mapping, horse riding, swimming, robotics, the number of after school activities for children today are mind boggling! There seems to be a constant rush of getting from one class to another class and this frenzy increases during the holidays. An entire economy has been built around hobby classes where instructors, transport providers, caretakers, everyone is getting involved.
A few reasons why this phenomenon is taking place –
1. Explore their best attributes
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – Anonymous
Childhood is the best period when a person can freely discover their innate talents and hone them. It is not to say that several successful people have found their calling in life later. If a child is intellectual, his performance is proven through academics and rewarded so but a child’s talent in sports or arts is usually not equally rewarded.
Millennials today have the opportunity through these after school hobby classes to get exposure to these different activities and find what they enjoy doing the most. Even otherwise, they always have a hobby to relax with as they grown into adults.
To keep up with the competition
In this widely connected world where everything has to go on social media, parents are under pressure to keep up with their peers and pass on this competitive streak to their children. Videos of millennials dancing or performing on stage, photographs of winning awards for art, a video of a robot created by the child, all this and more is often seen on Facebook and parents feel the need to empower their child as other parents do with their children.
This is the positive push for sending their children to activity classes; however there is also the other negative aspect whereby the child is sent only because the smart kids of the class are going or because the activity is new and trending. In such cases the child may not enjoy the activity and get too tired.
Parents need time off
Parenting is a 24 X 7 activity with no time off however physically they can take some time off by passing on the responsibility of entertaining their child to someone else. This is why a lot of activity classes are on weekends when parents tend to drop their children off so they can get some time to do their own work. This way both the child and parent get what they want!
With as many positive attributes as negative, extracurricular hobby classes can also push millennials to an edge and they may simply want to relax at home to read a book or watch TV or even go outside to play catch! It’s good to listen to the child and let them pursue what they enjoy!
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