When I was a boy, it seemed that every kid in my neighborhood had a hobby of some kind. The boy next door liked to collect and trade baseball cards, my friend down the street liked to collect and identify rocks, and I liked to work in my family’s yard, trimming hedges, tending to plants and flowers, and keeping the grass looking green and lush. It seems that today, a lot of kids have “hobbies” such as watching TV, playing video games, or updating their Facebook status.
I think this is a huge disservice to our kids. They need to have hobbies for many reasons, not the least of which is to develop self-esteem based on achievement, rather than just because they are alive, which seems to be the trend today. Self-esteem based on the child’s achievements is a much more sturdy and long-lasting self-worth that endures. Building up a child based on little more than the fact that they exist is not substantial, it does not last. Giving every child a trophy is not a substantive way to grow self-esteem. Having a hobby that you work on, make goals toward, and achieve those goals is a fundamental way to earn strong self-esteem for life. To develop a hobby takes initiative, drive, and stick-to-itiveness that is important for many aspects of an adult’s life. When a child develops these qualities with their hobby, it will transfer to a career, their relationships, and their future goals. Having a hobby keeps kids interested in lifelong learning, whether they realize they are learning or not! When you have a hobby, you have something in your life that drives you to improve yourself, to keep learning, and to strive for excellence.