It’s easy to despair if your child seems to just spend all of their spare time gaming on their PlayStation – rather than pursuing what you might consider a more ‘useful’ hobby. In other words, one you could more easily imagine translating into a lifelong passion and possibly even a rewarding career for them.
While you don’t want to act dictatorial towards your little one, there are still little things you could do to nudge them in the right direction.
Help your child to live by the ‘Rule of Three’
“People often take on too many responsibilities. This eventually leads to frustration. The US Marine Corps and other military services use the ‘Rule of Three’ as a general principle,” neuroscientist Tina Seelig says as quoted by Good Housekeeping.
Therefore, if school is one of the three things your child would be capable of handling on a regular basis, this would leave them with two other things you could encourage them to do as hobbies.
Don’t try to rush your kid into finding a passion
Contrary to a belief that seems popular in some quarters, your child isn’t a lost cause if they fail to find a burning passion by the age of 5. Only a small proportion of children actually do reach that high bar.
This was confirmed in a seven-year study conducted by William Damon, director of the Stanford University Centre on Adolescence. This research into 12- to 26-year-olds found that, as Damon explains, “the majority of adolescents and young adults … were searching for a direction in life but had yet to find it.”
Don’t worry if your child abandons a hobby
“Parents get frustrated when their child doesn’t stick with something,” Katharine Brooks, the author of You Majored in What?, acknowledges. However, most kids give up an activity when they realise that it is harder than they originally expected.
Your child might still make it to the next stage of learning, where they decide to work hard to master the activity that once daunted them. So, if they do quit something, just be patient.
Encourage your kid to simply do whatever they enjoy
“Any healthy passion, anything your child enjoys, should be encouraged,” Damon insists – even if your child doesn’t seem naturally adept at it.
You could be pleasantly surprised by what eventually results if you prioritise finding something your child enjoys rather than necessarily something that plays to their strengths.
Look for hobbies you could do with your child
There are plenty of hobbies that would fall into this category – like photography, drawing, painting and felting, as LifeSavvy explains. These are all also examples of activities that could help your child to develop individual interests they would be able to indulge away from you as their independence grows.
For example, if your child enjoys driving a ride-on car bought for them from RiiRoo, this could spark a broader interest in cars.