How to: 7 tips that will help you discover your child’s interests and preferred activities
As a parent, you are in a constant interaction with your children by helping them discover the world around and their place in it. Most of those major discoveries are made during your children's free time, being driven by their special interests and practiced activities. Eventually, you come to the question of hobbies and their importance in your child’s life.
During the day, children are kept busy with the classes and school assignments, for mostly educational purposes, while numerous after-school activities are meant to define and develop your children’s broad interests and abilities.
When your family is checking for an interesting festival to attend as a special family event, your first focus is on the activities range proposed by the organizers. Normally, one of the most important questions appeared would be: what is going to interest my children? And because we value your time, we want to share some useful advice and steps in finding activities that your children would love!
Observe your children - they will give you the answer. While thinking of a list of activities that will attract your children, research the neighborhood for related interest clubs or groups, think of your availability to take your children there few times a week if it’s the case, and let your child choose.
Be open to a tryout period while your child is all into his new hobby. Children have short attention span. They get quickly interested in something new, abandoning it as soon as it loses its novelty. You should take it patiently and give your children the freedom to decide, as long as they feel comfortable and happy with something that takes all of their free time, be it drawing, swimming, dancing or martial arts.
Invest less in the beginning of your child’s interest for the hobby. Since you never know if it continues or not, you are not likely to have a huge piano at home, a few dancing costumes of your growing infant, while he is just interested in watching theatre shows or collecting stamps.
Learn about your child’s hobby. It is highly important for your child to feel your involvement and support while he’s discovering his interests. You might try to find a compromise on hobbies you both enjoy and share, like reading sci-fi or playing badminton together. However, your child might also be into martial arts, with you having no clue about it. Get informed. Keep yourself updated on your children’s interests. It will show them that you are paying attention to what is important to them.
Avoid being pushy. Even though sometimes you two might have a lot in common, be ready for a hobby that is beyond your own interests. We might think we know what’s best for our children and become overprotective. It is better to avoid that attitude. Try to maintain the neutral position, without forcing your child into accomplishing your goals. Your child’s choice should be a choice for you too. A choice of acceptance.
Try to get rid of the idea that your children should be the best in what they’re doing. Hobbies and interests are not necessarily a life competition; they are rather activities pursued for relaxation or pleasure, meant to entertain and bring satisfaction. Support your children who are discovering the world while playing games and acting, maintain a healthy competition, without making him feel the pressure of must-do-better.
- There is a delicate question of when to help your child decide quit the activity. A hobby might last long, over the time even turning into a permanent activity. However, usually, there comes the time when other interests appear in your child’s life. And he decides to abandon the once-loved activity. It’s a delicate matter to know when to advice your child towards continuing it, and when to give your child the freedom of choosing on his own.
Children, their interests and hobbies represent an essential course of entertaining, learning, work, development and experience. Helping your children find an occupation that would be interesting for them means helping them to become engaged into a line of activities they would love and would like to share with others. Keeping them up and turning those into hobbies is not an easy task. However, encourage your child in his choice and be passionate about something he chooses to do! That would be the way to succeed in this difficult and rewarding parent’s duty.