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The importance of after school activities

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

So what are your kids getting out of those after school activities? Being active after school will provide some balance to the school day, and a way to get some exercise.

But it's more than that, according to Cleveland Clinic Child Psychologist Dr. Wendy Cunningham, and she says it starts with teaching conflict resolution, "What do I do if someone is not working with me very well. What do I do if someone is taking more of the leader role, but maybe not necessarily hearing what I have to say."

And a big key to that is trying to let your kids work out those conflicts by themselves.  Another benefit of those after school activities is that they provide a lesson in time management.

"How do I participate in these things that I really enjoy and form those friendships and all of those skills while still managing my academic expectations," said Dr. Cunningham.

Another aspect of a child's growth resolves around how they will work themselves into something that may be bigger than just their individual accomplishments. How do they successfully build themselves into relationships by being a true team player?

Dr. Cunningham believes the questions young people ask themselves in team settings sets a foundation for them as they grow,"What would you do? What do you think? Here are some things that I think. What do you think about that? That can be a really great conversation and it builds those skills that they can then move forward and take on in the future," she says.

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