Childhood is a magical time of learning, growing, trying new things, and having fun! However, many parents feel their kids change too much, going through many phases of different hobbies. If your child wants to take dance lessons one week and karate the next, how can you best support your child’s growth?
The best place to start coping with your child’s changeable interests and moods is to understand how kids’ brains are wired. Family Education caught up with David Elkind, PhD, who teaches child development at Tufts University. According to Elkind, kids often change their minds about hobbies and activities because they are just beginning to learn who they are. Kids nine and under have trouble gauging what types of activities they will actually enjoy and learn what they like by trial and error.
What does this mean for parents?
Kids learn a lot about themselves and the world by trying new things. In fact, children need to try new things to learn what they really like and where they can really excel. Put yourself in your child’s shoes for a minute; with no sense of what you will and won’t like, the possibilities for who you can be and what you want to do seem endless!
Private lessons are a great way to help your child explore a new interest. A teacher with tons of expertise in music, dance, or whatever your child wants to learn, can help inspire your child to continue learning and be a powerful role model.
What if my child wants to quit?
Hobbies are crucial in helping children develop. If you notice your child losing interest in an activity, you should ask questions about why and see if there are things you can do to help them continue. Kids can benefit immensely from small changes, such as changing instruments, trying out a new style of music or dance, or trying lessons with a new teacher.
Here are some more tips to keep your kids motivated to learn and grow outside school:
- Cut down on TV time. Encourage your kid to be more active and engaged with their hobbies by cutting down the overall time your family spends in front of the television.
- Lead by Example. Your kids look up to you and take cues from your behavior all the time. Show your child how important it is to learn and grow with hobbies by making time in your day for a special activity of your own. Just 15 minutes a day can make a huge impact!
- Give them Space. Make sure your child has enough space and all the supplies he or she needs to hit the ground running with a dedicated hobby. Set aside a corner in your child’s room for their instrument, art supplies, dance shoes, or other fun stuff they need and make sure they have a place where they feel comfortable practicing.
At the end of the day, your child’s hobby should be something that is fun, engaging, and helps bring out your child’s passion and curiosity. If your child tries a hobby, and despite your best efforts, doesn’t want to continue, help them find another activity that they are excited to be involved in. Something that is just a hobby today could turn out to be a career or a lifelong love.
TakeLessons offers private lessons in subjects ranging from music and performing arts to academic tutoring. For all of our subjects, we offer a full money back guarantee if you are not satisfied after your first lesson. Check out our website to learn more and find your perfect teacher today!
Photo by Kamlesh Mehta