With families shrinking, children are left within the four walls of day-cares and stay-at-home-maids. Even when parents are at home, not many are interested or keen to figure out how to engage the child. How do we engage the ever growing, ever inquisitive brain of the toddler? The solution is not to switch on the television. The solution is – A HOBBY or multiple hobbies.
Growing up in the eighties and nineties, we were less exposed to media; television had restricted broadcast timings and free play was a big part of our lives back then. It was in those times that our parents too were driven to inculcate hobbies in us as kids. Collecting stones, stamps, coins, even greeting cards, painting, needlework, reading, music, gardening, pen pals etc. were some of the hobbies that my friends and I had as kids. But as time went by, some of these hobbies have dwindled out of our lives even, say for example, with Email as a way of life now, stamp collection and pen-pals are almost lost hobbies. Similarly with more and more people living in apartments, gardening again is not seen as a active hobby in kids these days. But we as adults need to be consciously driven to introduce them to our kids.
I am not saying all is bad with the world today. There are schools that are introducing children to skating, swimming, sports, dance and music more actively than ever before. But just because you can pay a lump sum to the school and imagine the child is getting his share of hobbies, does not in any way take away the importance of parents engaging with children in inculcating newer ones.
How do we help the children take up new hobbies?
You can start by introducing them to a range of activities; be it music, dance, reading, painting, writing, art and craft, photography, collecting stuff et al. Observe which is the one he or she picks up more enthusiastically and sticks with it. Then start working towards it. Guiding them, helping them learn more about that interest, may be get a tutor if it needs one
Show your kids various Videos on Art & Craft http://bit.ly/Appystore__Craftactivities and let them develop an interest of their own.
Be engaged in a hobby yourself and include them in it. So if you love gardening, let them be a part of it too. Let them water the plants, feel the texture of the soil, talk to them about how a plant grows and enriches our lives etc. If you love to paint, hand them a paper and colours too and let them create what their heart chooses.
How do hobbies help children develop their personalities?
Hobbies help grow a child’s horizon of knowledge and create depths in their personality
Hobbies help in de-stressing
Hobbies create a distinctive characteristic in a child’s life making them more appealing and interesting which leads to a heightened sense of self esteem and confidence
Hobbies can sometimes become the stepping stones to careers in later lives
Hobbies make children less destructive and make them more productive and creative
Patience, practice, persistence, persuasion, discipline are values that are a direct by-product of inculcating a hobby
Hobbies hone children’s talents and mould them into all-round personalities
Here is another tip for young parents today to help develop a hobby which I do myself. These days a lot of DIY kits are available in the market at pretty reasonable rates to help start a hobby. There are DIY kits on face painting, jewellery making, mask making, knitting, drawing cartoons etc. Do have a go at them and help yourself create a new and entertaining bond with your child.