As children end their school day, regardless of age, finding outlets provides multiple benefits for both the kids and their families. Finding a safe place for children to go after school while staying active and productive allows them to process the day, get rid of extra stress and energy, and leaves room for a timely dinner and bedtime. Adults know firsthand that having some physical activity during the day can result in a sounder night’s sleep, which is even more true for children. No matter how mentally demanding a day is, doing something structured after school provides tremendous benefits, and here we unpack the top 3.
1. Improved Mental and Physical Health
The sooner kids get started in an after-school program that has structure and involves moving around, the better and sooner healthy habits begin. Implementing a regular activity each day or week allows students to have the stability and consistency that help with their physical and mental health. The earlier years include critical developments, so having some way to physically stay active, especially after a school day, has shown to be incredibly helpful to young children. SwiftKick partners with local schools to provide after-school programs and understand the needs of today’s families. Often, after-school activities can keep students occupied with something productive, keeping them from getting bored, which results in excessive screen time or other unwelcomed trouble.
A reputable after-school program recognizes how essential it is to have somewhere for students to go at the end of the day and the importance of relationships both in and out of school. Practicing building relationships with instructors and peers is essential to emotional security and confidence. As students work with instructors or coaches, respect is built, which builds character and positive traits. Martial arts are a good option because they focus on respect and incorporate techniques for self-defense.
Having friendships outside of school and relationships with trusted adults helps boost confidence, improve emotional stability and moods, and minimize swings of extreme highs and lows.
2. Increased Involvement
Students involved in after-school activities have a unique opportunity to process their day productively and healthily. Even if a child is not doing well in school or has had a rough day, participating in a structured after-school activity allows them to succeed in something they have control over. Due to the natural flow and purpose of martial arts training, children must set their own goals and determine how much effort they put in to meet those goals. Encouraging instruction and supportive peer groups are critical. As students find routine through after-school activities, families often report improved academics and involvement in school.
The self-confidence that comes alongside martial arts training often results in children becoming more involved in school and willing to try new things. Involvement in an after-school activity gives children opportunities to discover things they like, dislike, and have a passion for. It also teaches them to work with various personalities while maintaining respectful behavior. Children also have an opportunity to explore leadership and their strengths as they expand their spheres of interaction.
3. A Safe Place for Families
Working families have many demands, and Brian Cowell understands how essential an effective and safe after-school program can be. Knowing your child is in a safe place, with responsible and professional adults who are experienced working with young people, brings peace of mind. A friendly and safe environment will keep children coming back. Typically, after-school programs partner with local schools to offer families many options. SwiftKick provides after-school programs to six local schools. Convenience and availability are essential for sustainability, so find something that works for your family\’s schedule.
Families can also rest assured that the children are engaged and getting physical activity in a solid after-school program. Although many different options are available, martial arts training offers both mental and physical elements, which continues to help young students as they become adults. Several SwiftKick instructors began as young students and have found great purpose in teaching alongside Brian and becoming part of the team; what an incredible testimony to have students progress through the program and stay and help, becoming a positive influence for others!
It’s a Win-Win
After-school activities are a win-win for families of young people! Getting them involved is the first step, and reputable programs will allow students to try it once to ensure the child feels safe and convenient for families. As children begin after-school activities, friendships are established. It is healthy for children to have relationships with those at their school and outside of school. With homeschooled, charter, and on-site students all participating, there is an excellent and healthy mix of students to develop relationships. Additionally, as with SwiftKick instructors, experienced adults will monitor and engage all students, fostering peer respect and relationships. Giving your child purpose and meaning outside of school allows them to build confidence that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Although there are too many benefits to mention, these top three should be enough reason to do your research and find after-school programs that work for you and your child. SwiftKick offers programs for all ages specifically designed to yield the greatest benefits for each group. SwiftKick also offers experienced instructors to work with children with special needs, so call today for your free trial class!