Your kids’ hobbies are some of the most important things in their lives. They are obliged to be at school, and you decide what they do with a lot of their free time. The hobbies they pick up for themselves are important means of self-expression for them and it’s important you encourage them! Encouraging a hobby they have a passion for early in life could be the foundation of a career later in life. Even if it doesn’t lead to professional developments, hobbies to help to develop independence, passions and skills they will use throughout their lives, whether that’s at work, around the home or to help manage the stresses and strains of jobs and housework!
Today we’re looking at how you can help your kids find hobbies and support them!
One of the best ways your children can get started with a new hobby is by experimentation. Rather than telling them what to do – which is counterproductive to the sense of independence and individual passion that a personal hobby can encourage – give them the space and resources to discover what they enjoy.
For example, you could order a craft box for kids and let them explore it. If they discover the projects inside for themselves, rather than being led to them and told this is what they have to do this afternoon, they can ‘own’ the interest in the project, and in the craft as a whole. Listen to how they talk about it: if they’re excited and enthusiastic about what they’ve done, you can suggest ordering more, but if they’re less keen, then you forcing the issue may stop them coming back to the craft world for good!
As your kids start to commit to a hobby – whatever it is, from arts and crafts at home, to youth theatre or sport – they’ll require your support, both emotionally and practically, and it’s important for you to be there for them. The highest priority needs to be finding their hobby exciting, interesting and a source of pride. While they’re working away independently at a project – creating a scrapbook, learning lines, preparing for a match – part of the pay off they are expecting, that fuels their efforts, is that you will be proud of them. So prepare to be shown lots of beginner efforts!
You also need to make sure you’re prepared for that practical support: helping to buy tools and materials, giving lifts to rehearsals or training sessions. This can be a great time to help foster some organisation and planning: if you can’t realistically provide everything they need – either financially or in terms of the hours you have available – you can talk it through, and find an acceptable compromise between their needs and reality!