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  July 26, 2014
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Choosing the Right Afterschool Activities for your Child

What happens after school is equally as important as what takes place during the school day. It's important that you and your child choose the right after school activities.  Obviously as the parent, you'll be the one making the decisions.  However if you can include your child in the process, you'll have better buy-in.

If your child has sports practice, dance lessons or choir practice, there will be other adults present.  That's a good thing.  Dropping your child off at the mall isn't such a good idea.  If children have nothing to do, the potential for trouble is much higher. 

Walking around the mall isn't really considered, "something to do."  If you want to go to the mall with your child, that's great. What I'm referring to is your child taking the bus or getting dropped off, without an adult there to accompany her.

One third of shoplifters apprehended are teens age 13-17. Not suggesting that all teens are out to shoplift, just merely that the opportunity is greater when kids are wandering the mall un-chaperoned, with nothing to do.  

Another not so hot idea is dropping your child off at a movie theater.  Unless you've seen the movie he wants to see, you haven't approved the content.  Besides there are much better things your child could do with his time that sit and watch a movie.

If they want to go to a friend's house after school, make sure an adult will be present.  By "making sure" I don't mean asking your child if the friend's parent will be home.  Get a home phone number (not a cell phone number) and talk to the mother.  You'd be surprised at the number of times the other parent didn't even know the children were planning to be together.

Many schools now have after school care which basically means your child can stay at school until you can pick her up.  This gives them a chance to get homework done and play in the gym, in the presence of an adult.

Children grow up way too fast.  Make sure they are using their time wisely.  Remember, they are our future generation!

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