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How You Can Support Your Child’s Hobbies
How You Can Support Your Child’s Hobbies
Does your child have a hobby? A passion that lights them up and drives them to explore and discover? Or is your child currently in the process of finding or changing interests? As a parent, it’s crucial to provide your child with opportunities to hone their interests so they can develop into well-rounded individuals. Here are six ways to support your child’s hobbies.
Get to Know Your Child’s Hobby
Hobbies are hugely beneficial in the lives of children. Research has even supported that students involved in extracurriculars performed better academically than their peers. Your child may already have a hobby. Or two. That’s great! If they do, ask questions about the hobby to ensure you have a cursory knowledge of the interest. This will help you engage your child in conversation about the extracurriculars. Chances are good your child will continue to be passionate about the interest for a while. Your ability to communicate about your child's hobby will help them feel supported and continue to grow into interest.
Send Your Child to Camp
Another great way to support your child is to help them foster friendships over shared hobbies. You can do so by sending them to a camp based on their interests. Camp is one of the most natural ways for children to make friends and grow them over the years. There are camps for literally any hobby or interest. From animation to horseback riding, and from “Minecraft” to fashion or trampoline to robotics, know that there’s a camp for your child's interests. Apart from growing their interests and skills, finding a relevant camp helps build lasting friendships with like-minded peers.
Ask Questions and Explore Together
If your child has yet to settle on a hobby or is in a period where they’re changing interests, provide them with extra support through conversation to explore what could be an appropriate direction. Children, especially when they’re younger, often change interests. Support them as their interests change and don’t force them to stay active in something after they've put in a reasonable effort to try it, as this can lead to unhappiness.
Note that sometimes children feel overwhelmed if they have too many interests, prompting confusion about which extracurricular to pursue. They might also be feeling burnt out from being overscheduled and doing too many activities. If your child is experiencing this situation, you can guide them to pursue a few hobbies rather than many. Help them narrow down the list by exploring together the pros and cons of each extracurricular.
During this time of growth for your child, feel free to introduce your interests. But be wary of forcing them into pursuing your hobbies or living out your dreams, as this could lead to unhappiness for your child in later years. One way of introducing your interests but not forcing your child into your hobbies could look like this: show off your baseball card collection to your daughter, and she might later decide she wants to collect cards, too.
Get Involved in the Hobby
The most natural way to support your child’s hobby is to get involved directly. Ask your child how you can join in. If your child does their hobby at home, it should be pretty simple to tag along, and your child will feel like they're in charge for the afternoon as they show you how their hobby works. Whether the interest is bug collection, painting, or video games, you'll learn so much about the hobby by actually doing it, and you'll know so much more about your child.
If your child's school organizes its extracurriculars, you can get involved in leadership or volunteer to bring in snacks or other supplies. If the hobby is a sport with frequent games, make it a point to come to as many as possible. Show your child where you’ll be sitting in the stands each game so they can always look and see you. By your active presence in their extracurricular, your child will know they’re supported and loved.
Provide Needed Space and Tools
Your child can’t succeed in their interest without the necessary equipment. Depending on their extracurriculars, this will include space at home and a variety of tools. Support your child by providing the minor financial investment that accompanies all hobbies. As the interest grows, you can continue to provide the necessary tools as gifts during holidays and birthdays. If you’re looking to stay on budget, you can typically find several resources online relating to your child’s hobby.
Celebrate Their Accomplishments
This point might seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes what seems like an accomplishment to your child won't seem like one to you. Hitting the “When Pigs Fly” in-game achievement in “Minecraft” might not be all that exciting to you, but it might be the best thing to happen to your child all week. Celebrate with your child, even if you don’t understand the extent of their happiness. The reverse here is also true – mourn with them when they experience loss or a setback. Your child will experience the degree of your love and emotional support.
Develop Your Child’s Hobbies for Life
Your child's interests will define them throughout their lifetime, guiding them as they go to college and choose a career path. Follow these tips for hobbies, and you'll provide all the support your child needs.