How can I get my middle schoolers involved in extracurricular activities?
To start with, make sure that you as a parent are modeling what you want your child to do. In other words, be involved. This will give your children the message that it is good for people to have hobbies and interests. Seek out programs, activities and volunteer opportunities that suit your children's individual interests and skill sets. Not everyone has to play soccer or be in the school band. Some kids might be more comfortable taking an extra art class or joining the film club.
Some great places to seek out extracurricular activities are your child's school; a community center; a church, temple or other house of worship; the YMCA; a nursing home; shelters (either for people or for pets); or your local hospital.
Always engage your children in the process, and let them know that you are interested in their activities. Try to get involved as much as possible. Not every parent has the time or know-how to be a soccer coach, but going to your child's games is extremely important. If you can't make it, make sure another relative or someone else important in your child's life can go to the game.
When you are dropping your child off at a class or a practice, don't just be a chauffer: Go inside check out what is going on. It will mean so much to your child. Showing your interest will help your child to have an even better experience.