Hobbies are Game Changers for Your Kid’s Mental Health 

By Wasim Kakroo

ONE of life’s greatest pleasures is having a hobby, but throughout adolescence, this is commonly ignored. One of the best things you can do for your adolescent as a parent, mentor, or guardian is to support their hobbies.

Hobbies have the following benefits:

  1. Prevent bullying:

Adolescents can interact with classmates in a positive way and build strong social networks by participating in after-school activities like music, painting, or sports. Your child’s social skills may be “exercised” if they have a reliable group of friends. Through their hobbies, adolescents can interact diplomatically with their classmates without resorting to violence or insults.

  1. Detect and prevent early warning signs of anti-social behavior:

Teenagers can get assistance when they need it through turning to trusted adults more frequently, adult supervision, and friends. People are encouraged to refrain from engaging in delinquent behaviour, such as substance addiction, by trying to offer support in a way that still respects their privacy and feeling of autonomy as adolescents.

  1. Increases self-esteem:

We all know that self-esteem is crucial for adolescents. Hobbies and extracurricular activities have been found to be very beneficial for showcasing talents while creating a welcoming environment where teenagers feel protected and appreciated. Children who have high self-esteem frequently do better in school, have stronger family ties, and are less likely to use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.

  1. Helps to establish friendships:

When a child enters puberty, making friends can be challenging. Having a variety of interests and hobbies can help teenagers find friends who share their interests and get involved in positive activities. An adolescent can benefit from having friends who share their interests and can act as a support system. For instance, two friends who love photography may alternately teach each other new tips. Learning from peers can be an extremely useful strategy that could produce better results than constant lecturing from adults.

  1. Make adolescents competent for scholarships and higher education opportunities:

Hobbies and extracurricular activities are advantageous for college applications and can frequently be added to resumes. Teenagers who participate in extracurricular activities not only tend to perform better academically, but they may also fetch them certificates that they can use to compete in various competitive examinations.

  1. Reduce the likelihood of obesity and sedentary lifestyle:

The occurrence of obesity is increasing alarmingly particularly among children and adolescents. Hobbies can help children and adolescents spend less time in front of the television or computer or over other electronic devices and teach them good routines that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

  1. Manage time:

Adolescents may learn time management skills through engaging in hobbies. Rather than spending their whole free time sitting on a couch, they may learn to devote time to their hobbies because they want to, not because they have to. They learn to balance their hobby time with homework, family obligations, and social obligations—and that’s not always simple.

  1. Discover their identity:

Most adults are aware that creating an identity involves making mistakes: you try something, you don’t like it, so you try something else. The ideal time to begin this process is during the adolescent years and hobbies can help in discovering and establishing identity.

  1. Help control your emotions:

It takes persistence and time to master a talent. Investing time in a hobby inevitably involves dealing with the ups and downs one experiences along the way. Almost every element of adult life benefits directly from having this competence.

  1. Helps to deal with adversity:

Things don’t always go according to plan when engaging in hobbies. Losing happens, for instance, in sports. Adolescents who know how to overcome the negative and focus on the positive have an advantage in life. As we all know, adversity happens and is inevitable, the sooner someone learns how to handle it, the better.

Some hobbies are merely enjoyable. And that’s what makes them so wonderful. They are simply enjoyable things to do to pass the time; they are not part of work, school, or family and that is completely OK. Everyone requires a means of passing the time, releasing tension, and enjoying oneself simultaneously. The beautiful thing about hobbies is that they can be just that—relatively pointless activities that make you feel good—but they also have the potential to be much more. They may serve as models for success and accomplishment. They can impart to an adolescent priceless life lessons that last through the ages and improve the quality of life on the physical, emotional, and psychological levels.

  • The author is a licensed clinical psychologist (alumni of Govt. Medical College Srinagar) and works as a consultant clinical psychologist at Centre for Mental Health Services at Rambagh Srinagar. He can be reached at 8825067196

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