No matter how old your child is, you probably have a good idea of what his or her interests are. One way to nurture your child’s interest is to help him or her find a hobby. Children benefit from hobbies because they help kids relax and discover new talents. Perhaps your child prefers craft activities over science experiments. He or she might enjoy playing an instrument over playing a sport. These interests may change over time, but even temporary ones have a significant impact on a child’s development.
How to Encourage Your Kids to Watch Less TV
You know your kids are watching a lot of TV, but did you know this? A study issued by Pediatrics magazine found that 1 in 4 children watch too much television. This means they exceed the 2 hours a day limit recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
That organization conducted a study of 7,415 children between the ages of 9 and 15. When they asked the kids if their parents have rules about how much TV time they could enjoy, some amazing results were discovered.
The children that explained their parents have rules about how much time they can spend watching TV were accordingly much less likely to exceed recommended TV watching limits. But less than half of the nearly 6,000 parents surveyed said they had placed any type of TV watching limits on their children.
The data makes one thing crystal clear. Place limits on the amount of time your child spends in front of the television set, and they will watch less. Here are a few simple but effective ways to encourage your kids to watch less TV.
Incentivize the activities you want to encourage
If you want them outside riding their bike or playing with friends, tell your kids you will reward that activity. Preparing their favorite dinner, taking them shopping or to an arcade, these are all sensible rewards you can deliver each week your child spends less time watching TV and more time engaging in the activities you want to encourage.
Put them on a clock
Follow the AAP recommendations of just 2 hours of TV watching per day per child. Your kids will learn to plan their television viewing around a schedule. Just be sure to follow up consistently and strictly enforce your newly set limits.
Give them "outside" toys and games
Flying remote control helicopters and vehicles can be purchased starting around $10. They are enjoyed by young children, teens and adults, and they get your child out of the house and into the sunshine. Lawn games and sports equipment are just another couple of examples of toys and games that can easily pry your child away from the TV set.
Practice what you preach
Set the example. Your child will be more likely to watch less TV if you cut back yourself. If your children see you rooted to the couch and glued to the television all the time, you cannot expect them to cut back on TV viewing themselves.
Hobbies and sports are wonderful things for all children especially the child with ADHD.
Hobbies don’t just occur out of the blue. They need to be nurtured. If you have a special hobby, try to share it with your child. Remember this is fun for both of you. Don’t ruin it by being picky in how successful your child is in executing the hobby you have chosen. If your hobbies don’t lend themselves to a child, try something new. Many communities offer courses in painting, music and crafts. Maybe your church has some activities your child could partake in. You may have to try many things before your child finds something he enjoys doing. Collecting something like baseball cards, stamps, coins etc. may capture your child’s imagination. As he develops some knowledge in his area, his self-esteem will be boosted by someone asking his advice or for him to explain something about his hobby.
You can also take your child to a museum to explore an exhibit. Museums often have exhibits that children enjoy. Contact you local museum/s to find out what they are showing and then make plans to visit, when an interesting exhibit is on display. Remember to ask your child, what kind of things interests him. If he finds it difficult to come up with something, ask his teacher for some suggestions you can then explore with your child.
It will take some of your time, however, you will reap the benefits in a closer relationship with your child. Sometimes these activities need to be scheduled, especially if parents work. Maybe one parent can do one activity and the other parent can do another activity. If you are a single parent without a partner maybe one of your siblings, friends, or parents can help out. Hobbies are done to relax you and to give you something fun to do. Don’t overdo it. Your child needs time to play with her friends and on her own as well.