It won’t surprise most mums and dads to know that the extent to which we nurture our children’s interest can have a big effect on their happiness.
One study by University of Montreal researchers found, for example, that kids are more likely to pursue a hobby like music, dance, or sport when their parents give them an opportunity to do so.
The key to encouraging your child’s hobby, the scientists found, was not to control a child, but rather, allow them to enjoy a hobby at their desired level.
Children and teens who are allowed to be autonomous are more likely to actively engage in their hobbies over time. After all, passion for an activity is a special relationship that cannot be forced.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you buy something after clicking on a link, I’ll earn a few pennies to help me keep creating posts like this, at no extra cost to you!
If you’re reading this because you’d like to know how to encourage your child’s hobby without being pushy this collaborative post reveals all!
Practical ways to encourage your child’s hobby
What benefits can hobbies bring your child?
Hobbies benefit those who enjoy them in specific ways. For instance, in a 2022 study by University College London researchers found that young people who take part in artistic and cultural pursuits such as dance, going to concerts, drama, and reading, are less likely to take part in antisocial behaviour.
Of course, artistic pursuits can sometimes turn into one’s calling. Children who take regulated dance examinations, for instance, may find that as they go up the ranks of ballet, they are more confident about becoming professional dancers.
Others may simply see dance as a hobby while enjoying the challenge of making their way to more advanced levels. Of course, hobbies can centre on a wide array of activities. Even the much-maligned gaming has been found to provide some learning, health, and social benefits. The key to making the most of this activity, it seems, is moderation.
Encouraging your child to pursue their hobbies
Kids sometimes fall into hobbies because their friends or schoolmates are taking part in specific ones. However, try to be open to new hobbies that your child may show an interest in. For instance, if your child loves games like Lego, they may be interested in a robotics workshop in which scientists help them bring Lego pieces to life.
Children also have a natural affinity with nature, but many are not given the opportunity to spend time outdoors for more than a few minutes a day. Bearing in mind that nature has a myriad of health benefits for children, why not organise a camping escapade or simply set up a tent in your garden, where you can read or tell stories beneath the stars?
Growing a small garden is another fun activity that can help them learn about organisation, time management, and the beauty of harvesting their own fruits and vegetables.
Hobbies have a host of physical and mental benefits for children. They give them something to be passionate about and help them grow their confidence. To make the most of the benefits hobbies can bring, giving your child autonomy is key. So, too, is allowing them to try out a host of indifferent activities – even those that may not be trending in their friend group.
This is a collaborative post.