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Time Well Spent:
Hobbies are an Investment in Your Children

Connection between hobbies and child development

Every parent wants their children to grow up happy and healthy, and to be able to enjoy all the opportunities open to them - and as some would put it, to lead a better life than their own. It’s simply part of nurturing a new family member through the trials and tribulations of life; your own experiences and struggles have made you who you are, but you don’t necessarily want your kids to go through the same thing. Experiences in their formative years shape your child into the kind of adult they are, so balancing education, hobbies, and friends is key to a well-rounded individual.

Playing sports benefits children in many ways
Playing sports is somewhat a natural thing for children that helps them develop skills in sport, communications, social interaction, as well as being healthy.

How do you invest in your children?

It can take many forms - ensuring their physical health through eating well and exercising regularly is one. For many people, ‘investing’ in their children means education. Encouraging diligent study habits early on, taking extra credit and pushing for advance programs, even hiring tutors and paying for private education are all common. A good education sets up better opportunities at college and in careers, so it’s easy to see why this is considered really important. Many parents will also invest in a more traditional sense, and put aside money for the kids to grow over the years for things like buying a house, getting married, or getting a higher degree.

Help your children to develop skills

However, sometimes it might seem like there’s not much room left for anything else - taking time to read a novel or play in the garden can seem a bit pointless when there’s homework to be done. In actuality, having downtime for hobbies and play is crucial to your child’s development and starting early is a good way to set them up for life with many different skills.

Here's how hobbies and child development interact to help your child with learning new skills and encourage self-development:

Playing sports

Playing sports helps both physically and mentally: while keeping fit and increasing their spatial awareness, your kids are also learning about the value of winning and losing, improving their social skills and how to take their place in a team.

Learning musical instrument

Taking up an instrument helps to teach self-discipline and dedication to reaching goals, and the importance of practice.

Interacting with animals

Getting a pet or taking up an animal-related activity like horse riding can help teach children patience, responsibility, caring for others, and valuable non-verbal communication skills.

Developing independent thinking

Arts and crafts encourage creativity and independent thinking. They also provide an outlet for children to explore different emotions and feelings such as anger or stress.

Help your child choose

It might seem early to be teaching children about these kind of things, but it’s really valuable to instill these capabilities in your children from a young age; they will carry these skills throughout their whole life as a more rounded and resilient person. Try lots of different activities and see what they show an interest for. It will only work long-term if they are really passionate about the hobby; if you are pushing them into something it will only become a resentful chore. Choosing the right hobby, however, will help them develop skills and can mean a passion for life and an important part of their self worth and happiness.

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