All parents want their children to find new hobbies they can be passionate about. Not only are hobbies great for fostering self-confidence, and helping kids develop new skills but can also benefit them socially, physically and mentally. With so many different passions and interests to discover, finding an activity that your child truly enjoys can be tricky and sometimes overwhelming. We’ve put together some ways parents can help kids explore new hobbies and hopefully pursue something they’re interested in for many years to come.
1. Talk To Your Children About Their Interests
Talking to your children and discussing their likes and dislikes is a great place to start when trying to discover what kind of hobbies they would potentially be passionate about. Remember to ask open-ended questions that will also encourage them to think about any areas they would actually like to pursue, rather than choosing the same things as their friends.
2. Keep It Low Pressure
Children often change their minds, which is a natural part of development, so it’s important to not put any pressure on them to stick with something if they start having second thoughts or not enjoying something as much. What interests a child at age five (dinosaurs, for example) may not be interesting even a year or two later. Give your child the space to choose their hobbies and activities and don’t shame them for ‘giving up’ if it simply doesn’t interest them anymore.
3. Don’t Be Pushy
It’s so important to let your kids choose their own hobbies and passions. There’s nothing worse for children than being pushed into an activity their parents want them to do when they don’t actually enjoy it. The key to sticking to or finding new hobbies is for kids to want to be involved and build upon the things they naturally love to do.
4. Encourage Curiosity
If your child shows interest in an activity or topic, you don’t need to overwhelm them with information. Instead, start asking questions to determine what their level of interest is so you can find the best route in helping them explore their passions. Show them it’s okay to investigate new things and discover the world around them, without having to immediately sign up for a specific hobby class. Instead encourage them to be curious about the things that interest them first, whether this is taking books out at the library or visiting a museum to see how much they enjoy being immersed in the specific area.
5. Find Local Classes
We guarantee you’ll be surprised at the wide variety of classes and courses for young children that are available in your local area. From roller-skating to drawing classes, encouraging your kids to try a taster class is a great idea, if they’re just trying to figure out what they like and don’t like. It’s impossible for kids to be interested in something they don’t know exists, which is why it’s important to try and expose them to as many new experiences as possible. You really never know what your child may gravitate towards next.
6. Avoid Overinvolvement
As parents, we always want to help and support our children in every step of their journey. However, sometimes the best way to help them explore their passions and find new hobbies is to step back and let them explore on their own. Overscheduling activities or inserting yourself into your child’s pursuits can actually have the opposite impact of what you intend. Instead, give your child the chance to play independently and explore their own interests in their own time. This not only encourages autonomy and builds self-esteem, but it also gives them the tools they need to be self-sufficient, successful adults later on.
7.Start Short Term
If your child wants to sign up for a new hobby, it’s always a good idea to choose the short-term option first. Signing up for a short number of sessions provides flexibility, which can be helpful, especially as children can change their minds quickly. It’s also a great way for your kids to try out experiences, and discover new likes and dislikes without having to commit long-term.