In Singapore, it is common to focus heavily on academics. Our children’s hobbies often tend to take a back seat as grades and homework become more important.
However, hobbies do more than just fill up our time. Hobbies help lower stress, improve our mental health, and aid in personal development. In fact, many schools care about these extracurricular activities!
Let’s talk about why and how you can nurture your children’s hobbies.
Hobbies as stress-relievers
The good news is that schools in Singapore already have a wide range of Co-Curricular Activities (CCA), which encourages students to find their passions and hobbies.
So how do hobbies relieve stress? Engaging in their hobbies takes students’ minds off exam stress and keeps them engaged in something that they enjoy.
Studies have also shown that it helps students perform better academically. Participating in hobbies or in their CCA helps students relieve stress and concentrate on other things besides the worksheets and assessment books they see every day.
For example, hobbies involving the arts allow your child to express themselves creatively so that there are no pent-up emotions.
By allowing your child to express themselves and relieve stress, they are less likely to succumb to thoughts of suicide or extreme behaviour as well.
Developing skills and values with hobbies
As your child dives deeper into their hobby, they accumulate more experience. They become more interesting as they start to share stories of their adventures with others.
This experience also builds their confidence, self-esteem, and patience. They also learn time management and increase knowledge in new skills.
Hobbies like sports and arts are great in teaching your child life lessons.
Sports activities and activities like basketball, netball, or football help your child develop their team communication skills and sportsmanship. Your child learns to work in a team and how to lead a team.
Hobbies in the Arts like visual arts, theatre, and dance develop your child’s creativity and discipline! Who knows, you might even be invited to a spectacular performance!
Developing their social circle
Each hobby has communities surrounding it, from pottery to skateboarding. Your child will be able to grow their social circle by joining such communities as they immerse themselves more into their pursuit.
They make new friends and meet people from different backgrounds, developing their social skills. They gain insight on not only their hobbies but other fields of expertise as well!
Hobbies offer an opportunity for your child to overcome boredom and stimulate their mind.
Studies have shown that hobbies like puzzles and board games keep the brain active and encourage critical thinking.
Your child can relax and unwind with hobbies like knitting, crocheting, and visual arts. It creates positive stress (also known as eustress), which eases anxiety and calms your child’s overactive mind.
How to support your child
“What should I do to support my child in nurturing their own hobbies?” you might ask. Well, the first step is to encourage them. Encourage them to find something they are interested in and to take it up.
Secondly, participate with them. Show that you are interested and want to take part in their interests! If you cannot participate, just showing support goes a long way.
Be there for them along their journey and when they achieve their goals or reach a milestone, celebrate with them!
Next, give your child space to try out different activities. It could just be giving them space in their room to read, or it could be letting them take part in lessons at their own initiative.
Just allowing them the freedom to experiment shows your trust in them.
Finally, hear them out! Lend them a listening ear when they share their experiences and the exciting events they took part in. Listening to them shows that you are interested in their hobbies!
Allowing your child to have hobbies and activities outside of their academics and schoolwork is vital in their day-to-day development.
Invest time and effort to support your child in nurturing their own hobbies. It is beneficial to their health and your relationship with them in the long run.
We hope this article helps in showing you the benefits of letting your child nurture their own hobbies!