Encouraging Kids to do Your Hobbies
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Encouraging kids to do the same things that you like can lead to more time for you to enjoy those things as well.
When your kids are young, they are very amenable to try new things. As a parent, you have a lot of sway in the things that your kids participate in, and how they spend their time. As your children grow, they will start to express their own interests and desires, and the ability you had to influence them will begin to diminish (although you’ll still have a strong influence in their lives).
Encouraging your children to do the things that you enjoy the most is a simple way for you to teach them about things that you know best. You’ll be able to spend time doing things you enjoy, with your kids, while also helping them learn to get better at something. It can be the best of all worlds.
Encourage, don’t force
One of the top ways for your child to hate something is to force them to do it. Forcing children to do any task is a pretty sure fire way for them to grow up never wanting to do it. If you think about it, it makes sense. As your child is doing the thing they don’t want to, all they can think about is how they hate it and can’t wait for it to be done with. They will have the same thought in their mind every time they are forced to do it. Their mind will then have put together that whatever it is is not fun.
Don’t force kids to do things that you want them to do. There are times where you may need to force a child to do something, but trying and participating in activities that you want them to is not one of those times. Forcing your child to do it will just lead to resentment and desire to not do it.
Rather than trying to force them into it, encourage them to try it. If you want your child to play a sport, participate in that sport when you can so that your child sees you doing it. When they’re still a baby, buy them a ball (or whatever tool is used for the sport) and let them play with it. And when they’re old enough to participate with you, get outside and do it with them. Kids will likely enjoy being able to spend time with you.
As your kids get older, don’t force them to continue doing something if they no longer have a desire for it. Kids may grow out of sports, instruments, or other hobbies. Forcing them to keep doing it will just drive them further from it, same as when they were younger.
Encourage them to try new things
Equally important in trying to get your kids to do the same things that you enjoy is encouraging them to try new things as well. As kids experience new activities, they will begin to understand the things that they actually enjoy doing. Without a frame of reference, it’s impossible for them to understand that.
If you sit and throw the same ball with your child everyday, they may not understand that they actually enjoy doing it if you never try anything else. Do they actually like throwing the ball, or do they just like spending time with you? While the latter is not terrible, your child may find that they actually really like kicking a soccer ball a lot more than throwing a baseball.
Letting kids try new things can sometimes be tough as a parent. It’s tough because you may find that your child enjoys doing something that you don’t. Part of being a parent though is sometimes letting them become their own person in this way. What hobbies they enjoy the most is not going to be the end of the world, even if you feel like it is right now.
Spend time doing things you enjoy
As discussed earlier, you should be sure you’re spending time doing the things you really enjoy the most with free time that you have. If you like to workout, then working out is a great way to show your kids that you really enjoy doing it. They may or may not want to work out, but they’ll know it’s important to you.
And when your child tells you that they love to play video games, and you have no desire to play them, give it a try. You may actually find that you actually enjoy playing video games yourself. That doesn’t mean that you should let your kids play video games for hours every single day, but that does mean that you play with them.
Showing your kids that you have hobbies that you enjoy, and that you make them a priority in your life will help your kids to understand how they can achieve the same thing in their life as they grow older. Make sure you are teaching your kids about how you prioritize your life, and how you make time to do the things that you enjoy. By helping them to learn that often it takes a lot of work to participate in your hobbies, they can learn how to prioritize their own time.
Spend time with your kids doing the things that you enjoy and that they enjoy. Your kids will grow up spending quality time with you as a parent, and they may grow up liking some of the same things that you do. Even if they don’t though, teaching them about how to make time for enjoying life is a critical lesson for them to learn.