Our childhood hobbies stimulated our minds and helped us make new friends. Introduce your children to some of the traditional interests that you pursued as a child and watch the positive effects
By Kavitha Ravi
As a parent of a child who was born in the era of mobile phones and unlimited internet connectivity, you would not be wrong in thinking that your child is far removed for all the traditional hobbies which kept you happy and engaged as a youngster. The newer technologies have a tight grip on almost every child, even if you put restrictions on their usage.
What if there was a way to counteract the undue influence of technology while spending quality time together? You can achieve this by getting your child interested in some of the hobbies that you were interested in as a child and maybe still are as an adult. Hobbies can have many positive effects on your child in the long run. It will keep him occupied, increase his self-confidence and stimulate his mind. The perks include the chance to become your child’s favourite playmate!
So here are some hobbies that you can share with your child and watch how they get hooked --
Collecting can be applied to anything. You can collect stamps, coins, train sets, figurines and seashells to name a few things. If you are an avid collector, you and your child can go on collection missions together. This way your collection can grow (which you can pass down to your child at some point) and your child’s collection will get a good kickstart. Collecting can also teach your child the art of organisation, which can come in handy as an adult. Stamps and coins have a country of origin. By collecting these items, you can teach your child about different countries and their cultures.
If you like playing an instrument or singing, you can encourage your child to take this hobby up. Nothing is more soothing to the soul than music. It can help your child develop a coping mechanism in times of stress. Even if you do not know how to play an instrument, you and your child can take up classes together. It will be a great way for you and your child to forge a bond and it will give you an opportunity to get to know his interests.
It does not do your child any good to be stuck in front of a TV or computer all day long. If you want her out of the house and get in touch with nature, gardening is a great way to go about it. This is the kind of hobby where your child can get her hands dirty, so it has the added advantage of being a physical activity as well. You can get your child her own set of gardening equipment and have her own set of plants to take care of. All you need is a small corner in the balcony. By having the plants in her care, she will get an instant sense of ownership and responsibility. She will also develop respect for the process through which food gets to the table and will be more careful not to waste food.
As children, most of us had a connection with a sport, which we were quite fond of. It may have been playing endless rounds of badminton or indulging in gully cricket with our neighbourhood friends. Some may have pursued it seriously, while others made it their favourite hobby. Sportsmanship is a great thing to share with children as it is a tool to build character. It teaches your child about winning and losing and also gives lessons in humility. If you had a favourite sport growing up, try and initiate your child into it from a young age. You could watch a game together to slowly develop his interest. If he is keen, start by teaching the basics of the game and eventually, you can even take classes together. Remember to spend time with the little one and play together, once in a while.
Photography is a hobby that can open up a world of imagination for youngsters. A child has a unique perspective of all things and can bring this perspective to create interesting photographs. It will teach her to be more observant of her surroundings while looking at things in a new light. And photography is not a hobby that is limiting in nature. Your child can choose subjects which fascinate her and photograph them. When you go on family trips you can encourage your child by making her the official photographer for the trip. You might be surprised by the outcome.
Hobbies are a great way to keep young minds active and engaged. It is a welcome diversion from the day-to-day grind. It will refresh the mind and help children be more focused. It can also help young people to connect with others who share a similar love for the hobby that they like. There are many health benefits linked to hobbies such as protection from depression and mood elevation. So pass on your favourite hobby to the next generation and watch the fun!
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