This pandemic has taught us so many lessons, unfolded so many realities before us, that we would remember them lifelong. We would not forget the mental trauma of spending quarantine days separated from our family and friends. For the rest of our life, the moments of struggle to get acclimatized to the situation would haunt us. The restlessness, monotony, and loneliness of our children locked at home have shaken our beliefs that we can do everything for our little ones. Practically speaking, I used to feel helpless when I saw my son gradually become addicted to gadgets and video games. To keep him engaged at home, away from his school and friends, we allowed everything reluctantly. In those days, I had cursed myself for not encouraging my son to take a hobby seriously. Actually, today parents consciously or unconsciously overlook the benefits of having hobbies for their children.
Singing, dancing, reading, writing, gardening – whatever be one’s interest, he should pursue it passionately. Hobbies can give us relaxation by uplifting our souls from all the stress and struggle of everyday life. But we are almost failed to make our children realize the benefits of having hobbies. Kids these days don’t have hobbies as they are lost in a virtual world. Consequently, they are losing contact with their environment and getting vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and depression. To reap the benefits of hobbies for mental health, I think it is high time to inspire our children to find something other than technology to amuse themselves.
WHY KIDS THESE DAYS DO NOT HAVE HOBBIES?
Kids these days are very busy. Besides academics, they participate in organized activities and sports where trained personnel guide and instruct them. They have no time for exploring and engaging in something just for fun and enjoyment. In the pressure of getting good grades, they are losing their spontaneity and playfulness. At the same time, they do not want to take the stress of finding out an alternative because so many options of entertainment are available to them. Technology has snatched away the curiosity, patience, and innocence of young minds, and they have forgotten to enjoy their childhood. All they are interested in are watching TV and browsing the internet.
WHY DO KIDS NEED HOBBIES TODAY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE?
The pandemic has given a severe blow to our spirit and forced us to realize how helpless we are in the hands of an adverse situation. During our quarantine days, we discovered the benefits of having hobbies to maintain our sanity. Basically, we cannot ignore the importance of hobbies in a child’s overall development. So, we should encourage our children to explore their interests and cultivate habits. Most importantly, we do not want to see our children glued in front of a screen.
1. TO BEAT THE LONELINESS:
Nuclear families, single children, busy schedules of corporate parents contribute to the loneliness and depression of the millennial children. Additionally, the online classes have snatched away all the fun of chattering, playing, learning, fighting, and sharing with friends. Gadgets have become the only sources of entertainment and the only means of keeping them busy at home. Eventually, it has taken a toll on their mental and physical health. A hobby can help a child to fight his loneliness effortlessly.
2. TO IMPROVE OVERALL MENTAL HEALTH:
A young mind can extract immense joy and pleasure from drawing, painting, solving puzzles, singing, dancing, crafting, or simply gardening. Children enjoy all of these a lot when parents also participate with them. It helps to strengthen the bond within the family. We cannot ignore the benefits of hobbies for the mental health of our children. Hobbies relieve stress and refresh the mind so that children remain productive and happy. There is no pressure of getting grades or no stress of impressing others. So children explore and enjoy themselves on their own terms. Consequently, their personality improves day by day.
3. TO CONNECT WITH THE ENVIRONMENT:
Children today are getting disconnected from people around as they are more interested in the virtual world. Hobbies help our children to socialize as they can connect with people who have the same interests. Consequently, they learn to communicate with others and exchange ideas with like-minded people. It is very beneficial for their mental health. They become happy by keeping loneliness and depression at bay. A child who pursues a hobby passionately does not get bored. Moreover, a hobby helps a child to grow self-esteem and confidence.
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4. TO LEARN LIFE SKILLS:
Hobbies help us to develop parallel thinking and problem-solving skills. Patience, hard work, commitment to do something in time with perfection- all these virtues grow within a child when he follows a hobby passionately. These life skills help a child both in his personal and professional life. Younger kids develop motor skills if they engage themselves in hobbies. Besides, a child’s communication power enhances when he gets connected with the people who have similar hobbies. He learns to incorporate the ideas and suggestions of others with his own and eventually grows as an open-minded person. Hobbies are also important to boost self-confidence and positivity in our children.
5. TO BE CREATIVE:
A child can venture into a world of imagination through his artwork. Not only that, he discovers new ideas to make his creation beautiful and attractive. A hobby can give immense joy and elevates the young mind from the petty affairs of daily life. A child hardly gets engaged in video games as long as he is preoccupied with a hobby. On the other hand, his artistic skills would help him to excel in his professional life in the future. Moreover, a hobby can be a career option for someone as he likes to do it.
So parents should encourage their children to engage in extracurricular activities from a young age. We have to identify their likings and provide them with opportunities and basic equipment to develop these into their hobbies. If they cannot figure out their interests, then involve them in your own hobbies. Do some activities like drawing, painting, or crafting together but do not force them into something. One thing we must remember that whatever they like to do, we should not discourage them. Whatever it is, we should support and praise their efforts and achievements in their hobbies.