Much like adults can benefit from participating in hobbies, children can reap rewards from engaging in hobbies. According to the Child Development Institute, hobbies give children a chance to express themselves. The CDI also notes that hobbies can play an important role in children’s self-discovery and boost their self-esteem.
Some children may discover hobbies on their own, requiring little if any assistance on the part of their parents. For example, some kids may display an interest in music that parents, even those with no such musical inclination, can foster by purchasing certain instruments. But some children may need a little more prompting, and parents of such boys and girls can take certain steps to help their youngsters find rewarding hobbies.
• Involve kids in your own hobbies. Kids look up to their parents and often want to emulate what their mothers and fathers do. If possible, involve children in your own hobbies. Gardeners can teach their youngsters how to grow and tend to a garden, while painters can host family painting nights where everyone is encouraged to create their own masterpiece. Parents whose hobbies are more adult-oriented, like woodworking, can still involve their children. For example, work with children to design a new item, then show them how the item goes from paper to finished product; just avoid allowing them to use any unsafe tools or machines.
• Let kids choose an activity. While some children might take to hobbies their parents favor, others might need to be given some freedom to find their own activities. Afford youngsters this chance, recognizing that it might take some time before kids find an activity that genuinely sparks their passion.
• Be a source of encouragement. Some hobbies may prove more difficult than kids first imagined, requiring some perseverance before they can be enjoyed fully. In such instances, observe youngsters while they engage in the activity. If they appear to be enjoying themselves but are periodically frustrated, encourage them to keep trying. If kids appear to be disinterested in overcoming any struggles, then they might benefit by pursuing another hobby.
• Don’t hesitate to focus on fun. Hobbies can teach kids valuable lessons and provide a sense of fulfillment, but it’s important that parents not overlook the importance of fun in regard to their children’s hobbies. Hobbies can provide children with the same respite from busy schedules that they do adults, and that break should be as fun as possible.
Hobbies can enrich the lives of children. Finding the right activity may require some patience on the part of parents and youngsters alike.