How to support your child to pursue a new passion or hobby

Here at My Gator Watch, we love nothing more than seeing our kids enjoying life and being passionate about the world around them. Hobbies are hugely beneficial for kids. Not only do they play a big part in their development both physically and emotionally, but they also help build on life skills such as teamwork and perseverance.

As another year comes to an end and a new one begins, why not, think bigger and start encouraging your kids to find passions that will stay with them not just for the next year, but for many years to come? This week we want to talk about the ways in which we can help our kids to pursue a new passion or hobby. So without further a do…..

IDENTIFY THE HOBBY

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Hobbies are all well and good but how do you choose? There are so many amazing opportunities for our kids nowadays ranging from sport, cooking, art, and drama (just to name a few). So it can seem like a minefield just picking one. We suggest sitting down with your child and making a list of all the different hobbies that interest them. They don’t have to be naturally gifted in that area, the key is to find something that sparks their interest and encourages them to take on a new challenge. Once you have a list you can go through the pros and cons of each, as well as the logistics. For instance, there would be no point in choosing fencing lessons if there are limited classes in your area.

ENCOURAGEMENT AND SUPPORT

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Taking on a new hobby can be hugely exciting for kids, but it can also be overwhelming and daunting for them. Learning a new skill takes time and dedication and doesn’t always come naturally to us at the beginning. Encouraging your kids throughout the process will be key to ensuring that they stick with it.

MAKING SPACE

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If your child has picked a hobby that can be practiced within the home such as art, music or cookery then it’s important to make sure that they have access to a dedicated space so that they can persevere with their hobby during their spare time. This will not only encourage them to keep practising, but it will also give them a sense of ownership. They also have no excuse to say that the task cannot be done!

DEDICATING TIME

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Allocating time for an outdoor hobby such as sport is hugely important. You may find yourself spending every Sunday morning watching a football match in the rain, and it might not be all that fun for you. But remember that come rain or shine, it’s for the greater good. Be sure to schedule hobbies around other commitments so that they don’t clash.

JOIN IN AND TAKE AN INTEREST

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Taking an interest in our kids’ passions is so important. It gives them a great sense of fulfilment when they can see the “grown-ups” genuinely interested in something that they are learning. Try and find ways to understand the skill and learn along with them. You might even find a new hobby for yourself in the process!

As a team of mums ourselves, we know all too well that helping the kids fulfil a hobby takes a lot of dedication not just from them, but from us too! Listening to a recorder being played in the wrong key for an hour each night, or spending Saturday mornings on a cold rugby pitch isn’t always our idea of fun. But the skills they take from those lessons will be worth every second. And maybe one day they will go on to find a career in that childhood hobby. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

We would love to know which hobbies your kids enjoy the most. Have you learnt something new in the process? Join the conversation in the comments down below or via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

My Gator Watch is a wearable mobile phone designed especially for 5-12-year-olds. It uses GPS, two-way calling, works across multiple networks and has an SOS feature for peace of mind. It does not have a messaging feature and you, the parent; determine all numbers that are pre-set within the phone.

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