Get a new hobby!
How many times do moms say this when their child is gaming all day or think it? We all know that our kids need to be well rounded; they can’t eat cupcakes (or cake pops!) for dinner every night and they should not play with technology all day.
Christmas is the perfect time to round out those technology corners and introduce balance to your child’s digital diet. Your child should have at least three other hobbies that they enjoy as much as technology to move toward a balanced, brain healthy childhood.
Some food for thought, while dad enjoys playing on the church softball team and it is a great hobby for him, organized sports for children are not necessarily a hobby. It is great recreation and exercise and good for many developmental things, but a true hobby is set at your own relaxed pace with your own rules and exploration. It is not necessarily an organized, scheduled activity. We all need those activities and interests in our life to call our own and to find rest, relaxation and joy in doing.
Why your child needs a hobby:
- They are educational. Rocketry is a very popular hobby, think of all the things he will learn!
- They teach goal setting. Searching for a special baseball card or building model airplanes or knitting baby blankets for the nursery at the hospital all require goal setting.
- They teach problem solving and pushing through obstacles.
- They get creative juices flowing, activating the whole brain not just one pathway.
- They develop talent and skills that can lead to a career or future enjoyment.
- They lead to unlimited life experiences, social opportunities and independence.
What your child needs to develop a hobby:
- Spare time and plenty of it. This is empty time to focus, not TV or screen time. It is also not scheduled activity time.
- Space. Find a place for him to spread out to do his hobby and leave it out. A card table in his room or den or a corner in the play room.
- He needs parents who have hobbies who are leading by example. Parents who make hobbies a regular part of their life have kids who do the same.
- Encouragement. Don’t criticize or get your child started on a hobby that is too hard; early success is the key to not giving up.
The gift of Creativity and Imagination: Hobby building gifts: Cooking supplies, photography: camera, photography books; Start or continue a collection: baseball cards, coins, scrapbooking, rocks/gems. Legos, Citi Blocks, train set, tinker toys, snap circuits, sewing machine, knitting/crocheting, potholder kits, dress up for young kids. Model airplanes, ships and other building ideas; his own tools and scrap wood and a workbench for the garage. Rocketry, robotic clubs, books clubs, etc. Pet training.
Think of things that your child can create, collect or do using his own imagination and ideas. He needs a hobby besides his video games and she needs a hobby besides FB. Working toward a goal of collecting baseball cards or trains or learning to cook or sew will provide a lifetime of enjoyment, friends and recreation for your child, but the key is to start young with learning to love a hobby that will last. Go to a hobby store to get some ideas and don’t get discouraged, keep looking till you they find something that sparks their interest. Oh, and Mom and Dad, you need a hobby too!
12 Days of Non Tech Gifts