It can be really fulfilling as a parent when you spot your kids taking an interest in something. Naturally, you might want to encourage them to explore it further in case it develops into a full-blown hobby. Who knows, it could be the start of a whole career! Thankfully, the days of gender-specific hobbies and interests are no longer the norm, which means it’s a completely open playing field. Here are some ways to help spark interest or joy within your kids.
Helping their search for new interests or hobbies
Observation is key here. Paying attention to what they like to read about, talk about or watch can be very telling. Then, have a think about what their talents are, whether this is in a school setting or at home.
Some things might not align and that’s ok – children can be good at one thing but enjoy something else entirely. You just need to look out for that all-important crossover that aligns their talents with their interests. There are lots of benefits to finding a new hobby, so any support you can provide your kids with searching for one will make a world of difference.
Don’t project your own views onto them
Good parenting involves knowing when to step back and let your kids embark on their own journeys. It’s how we learn, at the end of the day. Even if a child performs exceptionally well in one area, it doesn’t mean they should put all their eggs in one basket. They might be good at something without enjoying it. Just remember that there are no right or wrong routes at this stage, it’s purely about letting them explore their own mind and figure out what makes them tick.
It’s also important to think about the fact that some things are just a phase. Don’t be disheartened if their interests change and evolve over time. Your role as a parent is to support and encourage them, especially with the struggles young people face at the moment – and they’ll thank you for it one day.
Put your discoveries into action
If you find that all-important crossover between a child’s talents and interests, take it seriously and support it where possible. Take the time to chat candidly about the topic to see what it is that makes your child light up.
Birthdays and Christmas can be great opportunities to invest in their interests but supporting them in everyday life is where you can really plant some roots deeply. If they love technology or computers, for example, you can invest in something unique, like a micro:bit to help them develop core skills in these areas. Alternatively, if they’re interested in nature, you could plan trips to museums or watch programs with them that will help them explore this. Exploring and educating yourself alongside your child additionally grants and creates some valuable bonding time together.