Creative Child

Why Kids with Hobbies Thrive in School

by Deborah Song on Feb 2nd, 2017

Continued...

2. Expose them. All we can do as parents is provide opportunities.  We can’t make a child have a passion for football, any more than we can force a child to have fun on vacation.  All we can do is expose them to opportunities. Exposing kids to different interests can take on many forms, whether it’s enrolling them in classes or taking them to museums and performances or even reading different books to them. If you’re planning to enroll your child in a class, sign them up for one that is temporary and short. This way, you can see if they like it without heavy financial investments.

3. Let your child quit…after the term.  Most people would agree that it’s cruel to force a child to keep playing soccer when he clearly hates it.  So let him quit, but not before finishing the session or term. By encouraging him to finish the session, you are teaching him the meaning of commitment. Learning how to persist and commit is just as important as helping your child discover his passion. 

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4. Introduce your child to role models. If your child loves baseball, take him to a game so he can see how professionals play and see baseball in a larger context.  Or if your child loves violin, take him to a concert or let him hear the instrument outside of the traditional classical setting. The idea is to expand their scope and horizon.

5. Sit back and relax.  More doesn’t always mean better. Sometimes the best we can do as parents is to do less, much less.  Sure, you’re excited that your son has found a hobby in baseball. But don’t pressure your child inadvertently by asking a million questions or hovering over him at games. Don’t forget that your own nervousness or anxiety can rub off on them either. Once you’ve provided your child the opportunity to play and enhance his skill, it’s time to sit back and watch. And laugh off mistakes.

6. Ask what your child has learned through their hobby. Hobbies are a great way to learn. Just because your child loves hockey, doesn’t mean he will become a hockey player. But the sport of hockey may teach your child invaluable skills about persistence and grit that your child may use later.

7. Allow your child the room to pivot. A child who once loved hockey will not necessarily love hockey in college.  Allow your child the room to explore, learn, make mistakes and explore other interests. 

Deborah Song is a Los Angeles-based writer and the mother of two girls. She received her master’s in journalism from New York University and writes about parenting, business and kid entrepreneurship. You can read more of her work at lemonadepost.com.

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