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Parenting

Blog: It’s Important to Support Your Child’s Hobbies

By Dr. Laura on August, 29 2022
A child's passion gives them identity.

I've been working on learning very sophisticated techniques for making resin jewelry. This morning, I finished a piece for the first time that feels 95 percent perfect! It may be early, but I’ve already begun making resin jewelry for our Holiday Designs Store to raise money for the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation.

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I turn my hobbies into raising funds for charity as well as passing time faster. Why am I bringing that up? Because your kids' hobbies help them to avoid dangerous situations.

There’s no likelihood that I would start using drugs or making outrageous decisions if I didn't have resin as a hobby. But kids are impulsive and not strong enough to stand up against pressures.

Some of you parents don't like your kids' hobbies. Maybe they collect Marvel comic books. Now, I personally would roll my eyes at that. However, I wouldn't let my little kid see that I was rolling my eyes. If your child collects comics and uses their hard-earned money on hobbies, then they’re not going to be spending it on naughty stuff.

David Schwartz wrote an article for Psychology Today titled, “Why Hobbies May Help Kids Avoid Dangerous Situations.” I’m going to share some quotes with you from this piece.

I'm not saying kids with hobbies will never do anything stupid. Of course not. But it does raise the bar to a point where they don't want to jump that high to do something stupid.

If they have a passion for anything, reinforce it. Even if it makes you want to roll your eyes.

Bored Kids Often Get Into Trouble

“Whenever a child finds something that they love that can be theirs, providing it's not a danger to them, it’s a good thing. It can help them focus on something positive and occupy their time and energy... Childhood passions can help kids avoid drugs, alcohol, vaping. It gives them an alternative to devote their energies to enjoying,” Schwartz wrote.

Schwartz also points out kids who turn to dangerous pastimes may have serious issues, perhaps trauma, or they could just be bored. I remember when I was in elementary school, my parents were called in every year for my behavior. I was talking too much — of course, that paid off! — and not necessarily following instructions. It was hard to keep my attention because I was bored.

That's where hobbies come in, something you have a passion about, because bored kids often get into trouble. One time, I was running down the school hallway and right before turning the corner to go down the stairs, there was a water fountain. I thought it would be really fun to grasp the fountain with my hands and let my feet go into the air.

Of course, I ran into the principal at the top of the stairs. She didn't fall, but I got in trouble.

Passions are not a guarantee that your kid won't make one or two dumb moves in life. But when they have interests and something that's just theirs, not their parents’, they become their own person with their own identity.

Your Child's Interests Form Their Identity

“Giving children the freedom to choose activities, entertainment, and music helps them stimulate their minds and have something to be excited about,” Schwartz writes.

If they want to spend hours watching a documentary on something you consider incredibly boring, bring them iced tea and have them enjoy it! It's these passions and this formation of identity that stand up pretty well against peer pressure. Peer pressure means a child does not have much of an identity, so becoming part of the group is the identity.

It's really important that your kids have passions and hobbies very early in life. Support that.

And no, staring into your smartphone is not a hobby. It is an addiction, which is bad.

 

 

 

 


 

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