As academics get increasingly competitive, you want your kids to focus on what matters the most. They have enough on their plate as it is without adding unnecessary additions to their schedule. For many parents, that means ditching the arts – and that’s a big mistake. A comprehensive education in and appreciation for the arts is a vital part of a well-rounded education, not to mention a well-rounded person. Here are just a few reasons why the arts are so crucial for children.

Improves Academic Achievement

There is a strong link between art and academic success, and it’s easy to see why. Art encourages kids to explore and try new things, to be creative and ask questions. These are all integral parts of academic success. And if you want to combine the two somehow, there are plenty of options out there. Some students flourish at performing arts boarding schools, where they’re allowed to explore arts and traditional academics at the same time. Take a look and see if this is the perfect place for your aspiring artist.

Helps With Anxiety

Research has shown that creating art can be a huge help to those struggling with anxiety. With the pressures of school, home, and social life weighing them down, students need a productive and healthy outlet. Art lets them express themselves in a creative way that soothes them at the same time. It can also help them develop a deeper understanding of their own emotions.

Builds Confidence

There’s something magical about the pride in a child’s eye when they show you their latest work of art. Whether it’s a poem they wrote or a drawing they did, sharing their work is a sign of confidence. By encouraging their creativity and enthusiasm (without worrying about the quality of the work), you’ll give them a sense of confidence that will extend to every aspect of their lives.

Encourages Hard Work

Nobody is a genius the first time they pick up a paintbrush (or write a play, or attempt a tune on a musical instrument). Part of the process of creating art is learning to keep trying. The first few attempts may go directly into the trash; that’s not what matters. The important thing for your child is to keep trying, to study and work until they accomplish their goal. By regularly working on improving their artistic skills, they’ll learn the benefits of hard work and develop an enjoyable new hobby.

Inspires Creativity

This should be a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating. Creativity is an under-appreciated skill that has a whole host of applications in the real world. Creativity teaches kids to think unconventionally and look at problems from different angles. It lets them come up with unique ideas and define their sense of self. Creativity is a vital skill in countless places: the classroom, the boardroom, and beyond. By encouraging this in your children you’ll be teaching them to look at the world from a different perspective, instead of seeing everything in black and white.