We all have a need to belong; to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. In fact, a sense of belonging is number three in psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. (for a quick video overview of Maslow’s Theory click here). A sense of belonging is incredibly important for youth and moving or relocating with family disrupts a piece of this belonging: belonging to a community.
There are several studies in both student engagement and employee engagement that point to belonging as a key factor in success. When children participate in extracurricular activities, they form a sense of belonging with their peers, their community and their world. Keeping kids involved in extracurricular activities when they move or relocate with their family is crucial.
June is the Moving Families Initiative® National Get Involved With an Extracurricular Activities Organization Month and there is no better time than now to GET INVOLVED and get your kids involved when you are moving.
In our last post we shared HOW you can get involved. And in a previous post we talked about WHY your kids should get involved. Now, let’s talk about why YOU should get involved. Moving is one of the top five stressors for anyone, adult or child. Stress in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child defines three types of stress: positive, tolerable, and toxic, and traumatic (click here for the full article and video overview). The key to keeping stress from becoming toxic are supportive, responsive relationships with caring adults.
Our kids will face different levels of adversity and stress throughout their lives. Part of our job as parents is to assist our children in dealing with stress and adversity in positive and constructive ways; making adversity a learning opportunity rather than a harmful experience. Getting and keeping our kids involved in extracurricular activities, especially during times of adversity and stress (i.e. moving), is one way parents can protect their children and connect them to a larger community of caring adults.
For more information on the MFI National Get Involved with an Extracurricular Activity Organization Month, please visit http://www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com/extracurricular-activity-day.html
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