A Hobby is a regular non-occupational activity done during leisure time for relaxation and pleasure. Hobbies allow children to develop some valuable life skills that they may not be learning at school.
All of us have one or more hobbies in our life. Men have their own hobbies. Even women have their preferred hobbies. In fact, women have more hobbies than men. Likewise, children also have hobbies. Having some hobbies or developing some of them has their own benefits and advantages. Hobbies can guide and mentor us throughout life.
Children who grow with productive hobbies can perform well in their life, both personal and professional. It is always better to introduce good hobbies in our children right from the time, when they develop their brain. Hobbies can have a number of multiple effects that have a series of cascading results. Hobbies can help children to develop social, academic and moral skills. Hobbies in children act like catalysts that can fuel mental and physical growth.
Hobbies can act as facilitators of life time passion and engagement. Hobbies offer your children a number of advantages like:
As parent’s your role is to help children choose their hobby. As parents you need to observe the pattern of play of your child and realize what kind of things your child gravitates towards. In addition to this it is essential for you to send your child to different classes for a period of 2-3 months and just observe if they enjoy the class and to see if they have a natural aptitude and interest in the skill. Many parents make the mistake of expecting the child to just stick to one skill for a year or so and end up tampering with the natural motivation levels in the child. When sending children out, remember that it is not a competition but an opportunity for self expression and exploration.
Many parents complain that their children quit often and want to constantly keep changing the hobby. This is also a natural trend in children because exploration and exposure to new things are taking place and the mind and body (if physical) are sorting out what to choose and what to let go. Some of the most common reasons why children quit are:
As parents we need to see the hobby as an expression and extension of the child and not a cosmetic addition to what he or she is capable of doing. Avoid forcing your own hobby or what you were not able to do as a child on your child; all you need to do is send your child out for different activities and see what they naturally excel in. Give them choices and leave the end decision to them.
The ideal age for any child to start off with a hobby would be seven as that is when they would understand things better, and are ready to follow rules and move away from their own stage of fantasy play. Hobbies can be fine-tuned during the teenage years.
A wise parent is one that understands that children will collect things at a particular stage, they will explore at a certain stage, they will express themselves (through pictures, words, colour and play) at a certain stage, and they will be active at a certain stage and silent at another. These are not hard and fast rules but are connected to the most significant experiences the child is going through. Their choice of hobby will naturally also be based on the experiences. Allow your child the choices and the opportunities to explore and to make changes. This freedom in a structured and responsible environment will ensure that your child develops a great hobby.
Hobbies help children become patient and to explore, express, create and feel a sense of achievement at their own pace without the need to compete with anyone else. Hobbies help children occupy themselves when they are alone without getting hooked onto gadgets or other sedentary and passive forms of entertainment. Hobbies drive children to look for more opportunities to learn, grow, gather information and knowledge and most importantly create a “safe zone” for excellence where they are in control of the activity, pace and outcome. Needless to say hobbies keep children happy, stimulated, focussed and content over time while constantly encouraging learning and expression. Hobbies are very positive experiences for the mind especially because in reality no one hobby is better or worse than another.