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It's back to nursery school ... and the first registration for extracurricular activities! What questions to ask before committing? These tips from early childhood professionals will help you find what's right for your child.
An extracurricular activity, why?
- As soon as they enter kindergarten, many parents feel almost obliged to offer extracurricular activities to their children. And if they do not have the intention, the other parents take care to remind them: "What did you register for this year?" "With the entry into kindergarten, says Chrystelle Gallego, educator of young children and manger manager, I notice in parents a great desire that the child succeeds, that he has no gaps, that he learns. "A requirement that takes precedence over the observation of the child. child. "The adult can impulse things, make discover, notes the professional, but he must also leave the choice to his child. If the latter feels parental pressure, in addition to learning at school, it can become very invasive for him and distort the parent-child relationship. "
- Same thing for the speech therapist Florence Lerouge: "We often start too early with the activities! Parents must be clear with their intentions: do they have a desire for results, performance, perseverance? Is the child a plaintiff? "Fabrice dreamed that his son would do judo, a discipline he had practiced himself, being small. But from the first session, he understood that Robin, 5, was not ready: "It's not that the activity does not please him, but on Wednesday, he prefers to stay at home, play with his business or in the garden. "His need to blow was heard. Conversely, even before entering the small section, Lucie, 3, wanted to do "gym". Her parents have enrolled her in a weekly session of "babygym" and she asks for more! "When the child is an actor and engaged, when it makes him happy, there is no hesitation", encourages the psychomotor therapist Pascale Pavy, author of The gym of toddlers (Mango). Especially as current sports educators are introduced to the development of the child and know how to adapt their lessons to children.
What is an extracurricular activity?
- "Some adults sometimes confuse" activity "with" production. "We expect an activity to have a tangible result: to learn something that can be reproduced, to report a DIY or a drawing at home ... Chrticelle Gallego observes. 'an activity do not have to be visible!' For her, no need to have any other expectation than pleasure: if the child "burst", it's perfect. Seen this way, we can consider things differently: go to the park together to play ball, for example, it's an activity! "When it comes to activities, I often advise what I call" precious time, "explains Pascale Pavy, especially when parents find their children too hectic." These are times shared, where parents and children do something fun with their bodies: a game with a ball, a tickling party on the couch, a movement of gym or yoga ... "When parents work a lot, continues the psychomotrician, the child is in demand of this kind of moments, but without knowing that it misses it. It does not have to be long: 10 minutes a day, and the atmosphere will be much quieter. "
Extracurricular activity instructions for use
- Pay attention to duration and schedules. 45 minutes is enough when you're in kindergarten! Check the amplitude of the day spent in the community (8 am-6 pm, it is already huge!) And think about the comings and goings, the journeys, especially when there are brothers and sisters. Wednesday is taxi? Let's keep time for free play, outside and at home.
- At the beginning of the school year, it is possible to follow test sessions. Let's enjoy! You can take your child to different sessions, to check his desire.
- A child of maternal age will be quickly tired by a repetitive activity: perseverance does not make much sense for him. As much as to question the adult in charge of the activity on the planned content during the year, to check that it will be varied.
What to choose ?
The recreation center, the airy center.When working full time, the leisure center is essential, with all the variety of activities it offers. Of course, community life is very tiring for a child, but the teams are most often aware and allow real free time for children: they have the right to do nothing!
Fans of activities.Multisport, multi-activity, discovery of musical instruments ... Some associations offer discovery-oriented "jack-of-all-trades" workshops that do not confine the child to one discipline and one discipline. He will be able to develop various skills, try different things, and refine his tastes.
Move your body.Agility, balance, but also "clown" ... The circus activity brings together a wide variety of disciplines. The babygym, without competition spirit, is comparable to psychomotricity. The dance, it is assimilated to the corporal expression. So many ways to work awareness of one's own body, flexibility, coordination, self-confidence.
Internships and workshops. Why force yourself to regularity? One can also choose to limit activities to holiday periods. Most clubs offer "internships" or "discovery workshops" during the holidays. It is good to overcome an apprehension of the water or to learn to swim, ideal to ride on a pony for the first time, discover the clay or judo, etc. Also think about the workshops offered by museums, theaters (theater, dance ...), botanical gardens ... So many opportunities to open up to new worlds.
Do together, parents-children. The big advantage of baby-swimmers is to gather parents and children around the same activity. Some clubs are inspired by this trend and offer "parent-child" sessions. Climbing, circus, yoga, relaxation ... it's a precious time of sharing for everyone!
To save boredom
In an over-crowded society, childcare professionals, be they psychologists or educators, constantly remind people of the virtues of boredom. And too bad if our child comes to see us every five minutes with this little tune: "I do not know what to do ..., I'm bored." Florence Lerouge sometimes receives in her speech therapy office children whose schedule is a "Incredible sequence of activities". They do not have time to be bored! And she notes, alarmed: "They do not know how to take care of themselves anymore.For their parents, the important thing is that they are active.Sure, they do a lot of things, but nothing of themselves! I give them a cardboard saying "Do what you want with", it's nothingness. So, the next time you hear: "I'm bored ...", answer: "All the better!" Long live the boredom that is born in times that are not dedicated to anything! The boredom that one assimilates too quickly to the void. Now, it is this emptiness and nothing that allows the emergence of reverie, imagination, desire, envy, and therefore creativity and free play. So many basic needs for the development of the child.
"An activity at any price?", Supplement for the parents of the magazine Pomme d'Api n ° 643, September 2019. Text: Anne Bideault.