Discovering and Nurturing a Hobby for Your Child
October 18, 2014
Does your child have a hobby? Do you?
Hobbies are interesting. A person has a hobby because they enjoy the activity. Parents have a HUGE role to play in helping your child find a hobby. Then, participate at the rate and request of the hobbyist. To provide all the benefits that hobbies can provide a child, of any age, the hobby has got to be their idea, their thing they do because they want to do it.
- Hobbies allow opportunities for planning and goal setting
- Accomplishing goals improves self-esteem
- Participating with other hobbyist builds social skills and a sense of belonging
- Hobbies provide focus and activity. Playing on the chess team is better than TV and Twinkies
- Hobbies promote acquisition of specialized knowledge and can become a lifelong passion or career
- Making progress in a hobby requires commitment + patience + persistence = tenacity
Here’s what you can do to help your child find a hobby:
BE INVOLVED. Expose your child to lots of different activities and ideas. Go to museums and concerts and exhibitions and fairs. Rent movies about children that have excelled pursuing hobbies like: spelling “Akeelah and the Bee”, gymnastics “The Gabby Douglas Story”, rocketry “October Sky”, sailing “Maidentrip”, ballet “Billy Elliot”, surfing “Soul Surfer” and writing “Freedom Writers”.
Have a hobby yourself and let your child see you doing it. Invite her to ride in the cart when you go golfing, get dirty in the garden together, or let her spend some time with you in the workshop. It’s all about being involved and listening and doing and saying, “Yes”. “NO” you may not be able to take her to a major league game. But Friday night football, little league baseball, your local High School theater or middle school science fair will be a likely more meaningful and relevant experience and be free or cost practically nothing. The point is exposure and involvement; Exposing your children to lots of different places where people are strutting their stuff and more importantly having fun doing it. Be involved in your child’s life. Talk about the game, the play or their day and get insights into their interests and joys.
You may share a hobby with your child or enjoy family activities; that’s great. Helping your child find and develop a hobby is definitely a “You can leading a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” thing. The hobby has got to be theirs. Facilitate: if they are collecting rocks, take them to a gem show. They may not read the paper or know that gems are rocks. Be interested in their collection. Interested but not overbearing. If you buy them twenty books on rocks and gems, your budding geologist may feel overwhelmed and intimidated. Let them lead you down the hobby road. Let their hobby be their interest and their passion.
Just about anything can be a hobby. In a study of 4,000+ children, researches broke their hobbies into 21 categories including video gaming.
- Ultimately, rather than fixate on sensationalized issues, adults would do well to remember: Video games can be a wonderful pastime for children — one that families should embrace. As with more traditional aspects of parenting, though, finding success with the high-tech hobby requires leading by example. Teach kids safe, healthy, and positive computing habits, and the virtual world will be the whole family’s joy to discover. Scott Steinberg
Scott Steinberg is the author of the world’s first high-tech parenting series, The Modern Parent’s Guide, free to download at www.ParentsGuideBooks.com. The reference came from here at VentureBeat.
So even video games can be a hobby (as much as we hate to admit it). If you are unsure whether an activity is a hobby or not, go back to the benefits and see if any apply. Are your children setting goals, discussing strategy with friends, learning something or feeling better about themselves.
What’s it going to be ceramics (think playdoh), cooking, topiary, rodeo, art, ham radio, music, collecting, extreme sports, robots, cosplay, historical reenactment, exchanging postcards, archery, rock climbing, scouts? The list is endless. It’s the passion that counts.
Parents, you are largely responsible for helping your kids learn about the variety in the world. You don’t know what will interest your child. When you see your child light up about something it’s pretty exciting. Then you have to walk the line between adding fuel to their fire and dampening their enthusiasm.
In short: expand your child's world and get into it, Their World.
Check out our other posts on specific hobbies: Collecting, Entomology, Musician, Photographer, Sports