Everyone had a hobby when I was growing up!
Some of it had to do with belonging to Guides or Brownies. How else did you earn your badges?
We had tropical fish and I wrote my share of projects and essays where they were the main feature. Then there was the coin collection. The Stamp collection. Or the active hobbies of bird watching and going for a family bike ride on a Saturday afternoon.
What’s so good about hobbies anyway?
Having hobbies taught me valuable life skills. Although many of the hobbies of yesteryear aren’t loved by our current school age kids. We shouldn’t give up on hobbies.
- Hobbies give kids a chance to try something they find interesting and grow with it. As they try out the new skills they experience the variety of emotions, mistakes, obsession, failure, hitting the wall and perseverance.
- Hobbies can last a season or grow into long term projects. Both are completely acceptable, wise to understand the difference and know when to stop.
- It’s through hobbies that we learn about ourselves; what we love or prefer.
- It’s through hobbies that we learn patience and how to perfect systems and processes.
- It’s where we can dwell for the longest time, hang out and enjoy ourselves. Completely lose time and know our purpose in life was to play, make, gather or do!
- That inner peace and joy when school work is hard but our hobby is not. Hobbies let us shine!
- Hobbies let us learn about our bodies- what we can do and what we might be able to do with practice. We find our boundaries and limitations.
- Hobbies are self directed activities. Kids have some autonomy over how they approach and proceed. They want this confidence and need space to work on these character values.
These all seem good reasons for our kids to participate but they just are not. There are probably many reasons but here’s one.
Why aren’t kids participating in hobbies?
School age kids sports have changed a lot. In the past, you would play for a season. Practice was once a week with a game once a week. Most kids in sports now are often year round. Seasonal sports are pretty intense with multiple sometimes daily practices, fundraising and uniforms. Time for the sports child has just become squeezed. You played football or soccer for fun then. You could also have multiple sports and other hobbies. Getting on the team was a matter of showing up. Sports has become a lot more professional and much less about being a hobby for the child to develop. Kids love sports. Parents love sports. The demands on time though have really changed the way families run. Sports place a huge commitment not just to the player but the family. The time for other hobbies is forever changed.
What if we had the challenge to encourage three hobbies in our kids?
You’ve probably seen this one
What would happen if we encouraged our school age kids to spend time finding out about themselves through the experience of different hobbies?
Find out more about the challenge find 3 hobbies challenge