Hobbies mold the emotions and temperament of a child, shape their personality and help them become an all-rounder. Choosing the right hobby also engages in the development of concentration and thinking skills. A hobby also encourages a child to build values like setting goals, working towards achieving a goal and enjoying the emotion of being satisfied once the goal is achieved.

Hobbies also build better self-esteem and once a child is high on it, this will automatically affect his academic performance as well. As a caregiver one needs to be observant to be able to identify what interests the child, once that is achieved it is important to encourage the child to pursue or explore their own passions. Following are some of the tips to keep students encouraged to pursue their hobbies without being bored:

1. Recognizing the talent of your kid:

I think the key to keeping a child interested in a hobby is to allow the child to choose a hobby that is close to their heart. It is also important for the parents and school to participate in that pursuit and to recognise the talent of the child. There isn't a single child who lacks skills or interests. Some children are unaware of this but parents and teachers may certainly assist their children in discovering their abilities.

2. Freedom to choose hobbies:

Caregivers should not impose their own thoughts and opinions or try to influence the choice of hobbies on the children. Instead, children should be encouraged to be curious about just about everything they want to learn. It is also important to take the children’s view. The school plays an important role here by offering an array of activities from which the child is given the freedom to explore and then choose. Children must never be rushed or forced to develop a hobby. Parents should not obsess or try to emulate others and push the child into doing things that the parent thinks fit.

3. Understand child’s interest:

The caregiver must take into consideration the child’s natural abilities/ interests/ inclinations for example if a child loves physical activities like dancing, cycling or any other outdoor games that could be great for the child. If the child is imaginative, they must be allowed to create one’s own stories, puppets, paint, conduct magic shows, conduct simple experiments etc. The child can then very easily be encouraged by showing him works of good artists. A child who loves nature can be encouraged to collect diff types of stones and observe different types of plants, trees, leaves\flowers or insects and parents can become a part of that journey.

4. Flexibility of decision making:

If at any point in time the child feels that he wants to explore something else that flexibility should be given to the child so that he feels confident to explore new avenues. Adults should not judge the child as very often he discovers his latent potential at a later stage in life.

5. Spend time with the child:

Parents should devote attention to their children. If a child excels in painting or craft, for example, parents can sit beside them and enjoy the art or craft with them. They should not interfere with their child's inventiveness, but they can assist them with cutting, sticking, or any other task that their youngster requests. This will inspire the child to know that they have the support of their parents, which will enable them to achieve more success in life.

6. Motivate and encourage the child:

Instead of forcing students to study, parents and teachers should encourage them to explore their interests. Never demotivate a child by telling them they can't accomplish anything. You regularly tell kids to do whatever they want. Allow them to try anything they want in life, whether they succeed or fail. Always be there for your children. They will understand what is beneficial for them and what they cannot accomplish. Give them some time. Give them space and encouragement. Always have a healthy and friendly discussion about your child's likes and dislikes.

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7. Give exposure to their hobbies and interests:

Caregivers also need to create an environment whereby the children are exposed to new things regularly. You can take them to workshops or lectures related to their passions. If they say they want to take classes to learn more about their hobbies, let them do it if you can afford it. If you can't afford it, don't be harsh; instead, tell them politely. Keep your child informed about current events and news. At the end of the day, a hobby is something that anybody should be able to pursue to relax and enjoy. Childhood must comprise making small choices, facing successes and failures and learning that that’s how life is!

About Author

Mrs. Damayanti Bhattacharya – Educationist and Principal of Jasudben M L School and Bloomingdales Pre-Primary

Damayanti Bhattacharya is a veteran educator with an experience of over 30 years in the field of education. A qualified Master of English Literature from Calcutta University, Damayanti Bhattacharya also holds a B. Ed degree, is an AP certified teacher as well as an IGCSE certified teacher for Global Perspectives. She taught briefly in 2 schools in Gujarat where she lived for a few years, and after that she came to Mumbai to further pursue her goal of imparting holistic education in 1994. Ever since then, she has been striving to bring out the importance of character building and overall personality development of the students.

In Mumbai, her first stint was with JML School which lasted 3 years following which she joined The Cathedral & John Connon Middle School, and was a part of the reputed institution for 22 years during which she essayed roles of English HOD and then Headmistress. She was also the first in India to introduce an innovation hub to promote practical learning experiences. She strongly believes that children are like clay and teachers are potters. The duty of the potter is to fashion the clay with love and care, to create a strong and most exquisite piece of art.

Damayanti Bhattacharya keeps herself abreast of the ‘National Education Policy’ and the ever-evolving sphere of education via workshops and leadership courses. Her vision is to ignite and nurture the spirit of inquiry in young leaders and she passionately follows the motto that knowledge is adorned by character. Through the course of her professional journey as a resilient educator, her mission has been to:

  • Build an ecosystem which promotes thinking and learning by providing excellent curricular and co-curricular
  • Continuously upgrade teaching skills through ongoing training programs for teachers
  • Inculcate amongst its students, a relevant value
  • Be in all things contemporary

Damayanti Bhattacharya has been bestowed with the Iconic Leadership Award by the Governor for imparting the most advanced knowledge and education to the children without departing from the core Indian values. She believes that JML School and Bloomingdales Pre-Primary has offered her a remarkable learning curve, making it an enriching experience that is certain to help her mentor children and shape lives in a better manner.

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