Top Tips For Helping Your Kids Find Fun Hobbies
Hobbies are a fantastic way to relax, develop self-confidence, learn new skills and develop hidden talents. The same is true for people of any age, including your kids. Aside from giving a child the perfect opportunity to express themselves, hobbies are a fantastic way to encourage positive learning, build resilience and may even help your little one come out of their shell. However, with so many different hobbies and activities to choose from, finding an activity that your child truly enjoys can be tricky and a tad overwhelming.
Luckily, helping your child discover their ideal interests and hobbies doesn’t have to be too difficult a task for parents when equipped with the right knowledge. Today, we share six tips that are guaranteed to help your child find a hobby they enjoy and want to stick to, so read on to find out more!
1. Try Before You Buy
As the old adage goes, always try before you buy. If your child wants to sign up for a new hobby, we always recommend testing the water with short-term options first. Children are often fickle-minded, and the process of finding a new hobby is often never as simple as sticking to the first thing that comes to mind. This is where the ‘try before you buy’ mentality can be incredibly helpful. For example, if your little one has come up with the idea to sign up for harmonica lessons, a good idea would be to purchase an inexpensive harmonica on eBay and allow them to fiddle around with it before committing to expensive weekly lessons. Alternatively, sign them up for introductory classes that may help to gauge their interest level a little better.
At the end of the day, if the hobby isn’t a right fit, at least you haven’t spent hundreds of dollars on it! It’s also a great way for your little ones to try out new experiences and discover new likes and dislikes without having to commit long-term.
2. Encourage Conversation
Talking and discussing potential hobbies and interests with your child in an open and encouraging manner is one of the best things you can do to develop their interest in something solid. To start off, be sure to ask some open-ended questions that will encourage them to think about any areas they would actually like to pursue rather than choosing the same things as their peers or siblings. Most importantly, keep in mind that your child is their own person with their own unique thoughts and views on the world. If they tell you that what you are doing is unappealing or boring, take that opportunity to ask them questions and find out what they would prefer to try instead. If your child shows interest in an activity or topic, it is important that you don’t overwhelm them with information. Instead, ask helpful questions to determine what their level of interest is so you can find the best route to helping them explore their passions.
3. Think Of Something You Can Do Together
If you are someone who is looking to bond with your child on a deeper level, look no further than getting involved in a hobby or activity that you can both do together. Often, playing with Mum or Dad can help a child to feel happy, safe and understood. It gives them a sense of control they don’t usually experience and can play a big role in building their sense of independence. Through shared interests and hobbies, parents can teach children to build self-esteem through specific skills such as problem-solving and communication — all while having heaps of fun at the same time.
You could even take the chance to pass on your own hobby (if your child shows interest in it) that will create memories that last for years. Moreover, many working parents also want the time they’re spending with their kids to be more meaningful and sharing a hobby is a great way of bonding and spending precious time with your little one.
Explore the many benefits of getting involved in your child’s activities here.
4. Don’t Sign Up For Everything At Once
Just because your little one is interested in 10 different hobbies doesn’t mean that you need to rush to sign them up for everything at once. Though this may be entirely well-intentioned and seem like a very innocent thing to do, placing too much on your child is a surefire way to quickly overwhelm them and strip all the fun out of the experience — information overload is not your friend! Their new tight schedule might even stress them out, which is the last thing you want to do as a parent. If your child seems to be showing interest in a variety of different hobbies, we highly recommend writing everything down and filtering things by allowing them to pick the top 2 choices that they would really like to explore. If those hobbies don’t stick, you can continue moving down the list until your little one finds something they are really passionate about.
5. Remember: Fun, Not Forced
One of the most important things to remember as a parent who is trying to introduce a child to a new hobby is that hobbies should be fun, not forced. For example, if your child has zero interest in sports, there is really no point in pushing them into joining a swimming or football club after they have already rejected the idea. The last thing you want is for your child to feel like their newfound “hobby” is a chore, as this will almost always backfire in the long run. Instead, allow your little one to pick and choose their hobbies based on personal interests and excitement levels rather than forcing them to take up something you think they will enjoy. We promise they’ll thank you later!
Learn more about why you shouldn’t force your kids to do stuff here.
6. Keep It Low Pressure
Last but not least, it is vital to keep things low-pressure when encouraging your child to pick up a new hobby. The truth is that kids change their minds often, and this is perfectly normal. Your little one may lose interest in those guitar lessons that they were once so enthused about, but fret not — it’s a sign that they’re learning and rethinking what they once thought to come up with a new, maybe better thought. At the end of the day, it is vital that you don’t get upset, irritated or punish them for not sticking with something. Lead with grace and give your child the latitude to choose their hobbies, and don’t shame them for ‘giving up’ if an activity doesn’t interest them anymore. It’s all part of the process of growing up!
And there you have it, 6 top tips for helping your kids find fun hobbies that they will actually stick to! Remember — while some children will hone in on a particular interest very early, others might need some extra help finding a hobby they truly enjoy. Whatever the case is, be sure to encourage open conversation and work together to find something that truly sparks joy in your little one. We promise they’ll be much better for it.