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Why Neglecting Child Activities Leaves Lasting Consequences

kid activities

Is your co-parent neglecting the kids’ activities? Do they often put their needs before the kids and claim they can do what they want with their parenting time?

We hear this a lot…It's typically because the co-parent doesn’t want the responsibility of taking the kids to their activities or being financially responsible at times. Not only does this impact the child, but it also hinders the parent-child relationship as the children get old enough to learn who supports them and who doesn’t.

Research consistently demonstrates that playtime and participation in extracurricular activities play a pivotal role in the comprehensive development of children. Playtime, characterized by imaginative and unstructured activities, contributes to cognitive, emotional, and social growth. It fosters creativity, problem-solving skills, and enhances the child's ability to regulate emotions.

On the other hand, engaging in extracurricular activities offers a structured outlet for learning new skills, building self-confidence, and expanding social networks. These activities expose children to diverse experiences, helping them discover their passions and interests beyond academics. Participation in sports, arts, dance, music, or other hobbies enhances physical fitness, fine-tunes coordination, and nurtures a sense of discipline and teamwork.

Additionally, both playtime and extracurriculars aid in developing essential life skills such as time management, communication, leadership, and resilience. They contribute to a well-rounded personality, confidence, and a sense of accomplishment.


When children are deprived of engaging in activities, both playtime and extracurriculars, it can have significant long-term effects on their overall development and well-being. Some potential consequences include:

  1. Reduced Social Skills: Lack of interaction and engagement in activities can hinder the development of crucial social skills, making it harder for children to communicate, cooperate, and form interpersonal relationships as they grow older.

  2. Limited Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills: Playtime and creative activities foster imagination and critical thinking. Without these opportunities, children might struggle to think outside the box, solve problems, and adapt to new situations.

  3. Academic Challenges: Participating in extracurricular activities can enhance cognitive abilities, time management, and discipline. Without such experiences, children might face difficulties in academic settings, affecting their learning potential.

  4. Physical Health: Deprivation of physical activities can lead to health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular problems, and poor motor skills.

  5. Emotional Well-being: Activities provide an outlet for emotions and stress relief. Withholding kids from activities can result in heightened stress, anxiety, and a lack of coping mechanisms to effectively manage emotions. Divorce can be stressful on kids and having the support of activities can help them navigate the process much easier.

  6. Self-Esteem and Confidence: Participating in activities builds a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. Anytime a child learns a new skill they become more confident and resilient building healthy self-esteem.

  7. Limited Exposure: Activities expose children to diverse experiences, interests, and potential passions. Depriving kids of these experiences can hinder their growth and expansion in what brings fulfillment to the child’s life.

  8. Long-Term Impact on Identity: Engaging in activities helps shape a child's identity and interests. When a child isn’t allowed to be themselves and explore their interests then can rob them of developing a healthy identity and leave them feeling resentful.

  9. Missed Social Opportunities: Extracurricular activities provide chances to meet peers with shared interests. Without these opportunities, children might miss out on forming important friendships and support networks. Their activities and friendships become their community. Children are social beings and need these interactions to thrive and have a sense of belonging.

In essence, the absence of playtime and extracurricular activities can have far-reaching effects on various aspects of a child's development, potentially impacting their physical health, emotional well-being, social skills, academic success, and overall life opportunities.

If your co-parent is neglecting your child’s activities, it may be time to mediate a resolution. Feel free to contact us here to support your child’s development.


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