While it may not seem extremely important, having a hobby will actually help your child to develop some very valuable life skills that they probably aren’t learning at school. Hobbies run the gamut from simply reading books to collecting things of all different types, building things like models and even buying and selling things like fishing lures or small pets. The actual hobby itself isn’t as important as the benefits that having a hobby will have while your child is still a child and as they grow into an adult.
For example, a child that has an interest in model airplanes will certainly learn the value of seeing a task or job to its completion. The same child may be shy and not make friends easily but, if the opportunity arises to join a club where other kids are keen on model making, he or she would certainly have a much easier time connecting with them and sharing their passion. A child who collects stamps or coins will not only have something to do that is quite enjoyable but will also learn about history, the value of things and so forth.
Child psychology experts agree that any type of interest that a child has outside of school can be helpful in their development and that having a hobby is an excellent way for them to get away from the routine and conformity that school espouses. It can also help them to not only exercise their brains but their creativity as well as being an excellent way to relax and lose themself in an activity that they enjoy completely. The fact is, anxiety about school has become quite an issue with children today and the opportunity to get away from the high-pressure situations that school can cause, at least for a short time every day, has become more important than ever.
Developmental experts say that by the time a child reaches the age of 10 or 11 years old they have already started to define themselves, their lives and who they are in terms of the specific areas in their life in which they excel. If, for whatever reason, your child doesn’t excel or experience great success at school, having a hobby or other outside interest becomes even more vitally important to their mental growth as it allows them to experience some level of success and achievement.
Of course there is a limit to how involved a child should be in any hobby. If their hobby demands too much of their time and energy it may very well take away from other important tasks that need to be accomplished like schoolwork. As well as this it can reduce the time they spend with their family and the quiet, reflective time that most children need in order to mentally mature. Just as everything in life needs to be balanced a child who has too many hobbies or spends too much time attending to them will have an unbalanced life and possibly create more problems for themselves than they need.
When it comes to which hobby that they should take up it basically depends on how much their hobby costs, how much time it takes and will what type of equipment that they will need. Collecting stamps or coins for example is a great hobby but it can also be a little bit expensive. That being said, if you are financially able to allow them to do something that costs a little bit of extra money then so be it but, if you’re not, then helping them to find a hobby that fits in with your financial lifestyle is going to be vital.
Simply put, it’s important for you as a parent to encourage your child to find a hobby or develop an interest in something that they can enjoy not only on their own but also with other children when the opportunity arises. Keep in mind that a hobby does not need to be mainstream in order for it to be valuable for your child’s mental development. If they want to have a bug collection and it makes them happy, gives them a few hours of enjoyment and allows them to relax then so be it.
It might take a little bit of time and experimentation to determine exactly what they like and what they are good at but, in the end, helping your child find a hobby is one of the best ways to help them develop into well-rounded adults.