If you’re a parent reading this blog, you are curious to know how you can help your child discover their passions and strengths by dabbling with hobbies. A hobby is any kind of activity that is primarily done for leisure, without any deadlines, goals, or task lists. But despite the inherent nature of hobbies i.e. being pleasurable, most children and young adults find it difficult to find a hobby of their true calling.
Many kids put off hobby development citing the huge academic pressures and project work. However, as a parent, it is essential for you to work with your child and help them find the right hobby (or a bunch of them) that can keep them constructively busy, relaxed, and fulfilled all at the same time.
Why should your child have a hobby?
Having hobbies boosts self-confidence. It helps one deal better with daily stresses while making them more amiable and sociable in general. Hobbies are a way of creative expression that eventually boosts cognitive capabilities (especially concentration and creative thinking) also – leading to better performance in academics or work.
Often children alone may not be able to find the right hobby for themselves that could fit their personality and life preferences best. It is important for parents to take part in the discovery of the right hobbies that can complement their natural talents.
Ways to help your child identify the right hobbies for them
Here are our top few ways to help you get started today:
- Assess your child’s basic interests thoroughly. You can start with the following questions:
- Does your child prefer indoors or outdoors while playing/spending free time? (it’d be a disaster to force a child who loves reading to get trained in professional skiing and vice versa. Place your child’s natural interests at the highest priority and remember that no interest is better or worse than any other!)
- How much time does your child usually spend on their interests?
- Is your child inclined towards finding leisure in the thrill of new experiences or in the comfort of old interests?
- Does your child usually prefer a playmate or enjoys spending time alone exploring their interests?
- Does your child have any long-term plans for certain areas of interest – e.g. do they just like the piano or aspire to play the piano before an audience someday?
2. Encourage your child to explore different types of hobbies
Educate them about various options available – learning a new language, sports, art & craft, music, dance, etc.
3. Never disparage or belittle your child’s intrinsic inclination towards a certain hobby. Refrain from making sweeping statements like, “sketching is too basic, why don’t you try something like learning Spanish?” Also never impose your own hobby interests onto your child blatantly
How to help your child maintain a hobby over time
While most of us, as young adults, have dabbled in various things, we tend to expect our children to remain devoted to their hobbies as if they were an academic pursuit! This is where your children will need your support the most.
In making a hobby stick, parents can play an important role, do the following:
- Reward your child
Reward your child for playing the guitar well or for a beginner’s effort at painting something. Encourage your child by praising their efforts and by giving them a treat or a small gift that can be useful for their hobby too (for example, buy your child some nice art gear if they love art & craft). Nothing is more encouraging than a small gift for remaining devoted to a hobby for leisure.
- Make your child join hobby group(s)
You can find plenty of interest groups in your neighborhood. These hobby pods will help keep boredom at bay and will also make your child learn essential social skills. Friendships formed within such hobby groups usually stick around for the longest. It is hence highly likely that your child will be able to maintain their hobby much better too!
- When Necessary, participate in their hobby
Some hobbies are social and need multiple participants. As a parent, participate in your child’s hobby occasionally. Since you are more in tune with your child’s intrinsic nature, this makes you the best person to engage in their hobbies. Also, your involvement will boost their interest in it and help you review their progress.
Aside from this, indulging in a hobby together with your child is a great opportunity to bond with them and spend some quality time with your children
- Get your child professional help
At Talentnook, we’ve worked with countless children who enrolled with us to find a tutor for their hobby. It not only puts some discipline in place but also allows children to feel more confident under professional guidance. The tutors often know how to identify and correct creative blocks in children. This goes for all forms of hobbies viz art, music and even sports!
6 Hobbies Every Child Should Indulge In
Every child regardless of their core passions should spend some time doing at least a few of these activities. These are all known to benefit the brain and general health in a huge way:
- Reading: Reading is one of the best hobbies to cultivate in your child. Reading 30 mins a day can make a tremendous difference in a child’s critical thinking and language skills, and should be a part of every child’s routine. To get started, check out our 2021 Booklist recommendations in all genres of reading
- Sports/any physical activity: 30 mins in the fresh air and intense physical activity up can lead to overall better concentration levels and build team skills
- Yoga/Meditation: 15 mins/day of being observant of their surroundings and practicing a calm demeanor.
- Creative arts: if your child isn’t into art, they can still dabble with colors – afterall coloring books are for all ages!
- Music: playing some musical instrument or simply listening to the symphonies or anything soulful every day for 10-15 mins – developing this habit can keep your child stress-free and confident
- Photography: Another great hobby to develop skills like attention to detail while getting to spend a lot of time outdoors!
We are sure all the little pieces of advice above will go a long way in helping your child explore and maintain a hobby. Hobbies involve taking actions according to one’s interests and hence the time and energy commitment often intimidates children and young adults. But with parental support, all these initial challenges can be overcome very easily.
Should you need any help, count on us. Visit Talentnook.com and connect with hundreds of professional tutors offering hobby lessons across the whole spectrum of music, language arts, drawing, painting, etc. Take free demo lessons before you decide on the tutor that’s the one for your child.