As parents, it’s our jobs to guide our kids along the right way in life: teaching them right from wrong and helping them grow into happy, healthy humans. Part of this is encouraging them to find their own passions and interests, which help nurture them and teach them new skills and experiences.
One of biggest challenges though, is when your child starts to develop an interest in something which you know very little about — how are you supposed to help them grow if they are walking down a path you’ve not walked down yourself? One approach is to encourage your children to take an interest in the hobbies you have as a parent. The other, is to let them find their own. Which is the right one to take?
Encouraging your kids to share your hobbies…
When you’re passionate about something, it’s easy for this passion to rub off on others, especially your kids who look up to you.
There’s something truly special about introducing your family to follow your favorite sports team or fall in love with your favorite band. It’s easy to find a ticket sale for a sports game or concert, and the benefit is you can attend events together as a family and all share in the delight of the experience.
The potential drawback, is, are you limiting your kids by motivating them to share in your interests rather than finding their own?
Encouraging your kids to have their own hobbies…
When your child starts to develop an interest of which you know little about, it can be disorientating — you want to be able to help them achieve the goals they aspire to. Yet to restrict them is to hold them back in some way.
If you’re feeling unable to nurture them in this new passion, you can look for tutors to take your place. For instance, if they want to learn an instrument you’ve never played, you can find a local guitar teacher in your neighborhood and pay for them to take lessons. If they want to learn to horse ride, you can find a stable for them to spend some time with equestrian experts. While you may feel somewhat disconnected from this new experience in their life, you’re doing the right thing as a parent to allow them to explore the avenues they wish to.
There’s no right or wrong way…
A balance is what’s key. Try to approach these challenges with your child’s best interest in mind. Of course, if you feel they risk any danger or harm from new hobbies — extreme sports, for example — then look for the best possible tutorage for them to try it out.
Parenting is a journey, and you’re bound to make some mistakes along the way: as are your kids! So, try to take it easy and look for hobbies you can both share in, while also letting them explore their new independence, unique personalities and fascinations. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends who are parents for advice, or approaching a parent forum online — they’ve probably been through exactly the same experience.