My child won’t stick at hobbies
One of the most irritating aspects of parenting is the way children often have great enthusiasms for hobbies or clubs and then suddenly don’t want to go anymore - after you may have put in a lot of time, effort and money.
Kate Wood found this with her eight year-old daughter, Ellie. “She started going to French classes and that was fine for a while and then she said she didn’t like the boys there and refused to go any more. She was going to ballet at the same time and that lasted a bit longer then she switched to swimming classes and currently she’s going to gym and has just started guitar lessons. She seems to be enjoying these and, having bought a guitar, I hope she sticks with it.”
This type of behaviour is common and children who switch very quickly from one activity to another just haven’t found the one that’s right for them. They’re searching for something they like and can do well.
Learning to persevere
However this lack of commitment can become quite a problem with some children. Parents have to teach them some sense of reality. What you need to do is get the child to agree to a certain level of commitment and give them a goal. Taking music grades or swimming certificates can be incentive enough for some children.
But if your child continually has enthusiasms for hobbies which quite abruptly burn themselves out, it may be that he needs some help in learning to persevere in which case setting your child a goal or target will help concentrate his mind and give him a sense of achievement as well. With younger children especially, a parent may have to devote some time and energy to help the child. If he’s learning a new skill, it may be that he’s hit a wall and he needs a bit more help and encouragement.
However, if your child was seemingly happy with an activity and then suddenly wants to give up, it’s a good idea to see if there’s anything or anyone worrying him. If it’s some sort of club, do check that the activities are appropriate to the age group and that no one is bullying or teasing your child.
Of course, how children react depends very much upon their parents. Mums and dads who try to push their offspring into areas they are interested in or activities they would have liked as children may be on a hiding into nothing - there’s no guarantee your child will want to follow in your footsteps.
If your child expresses an interest in joining a particular club or activity but the cost is really beyond your means, do look for a less expensive alternative. Many sports sessions, for instance are run by local authorities for a minimum contribution and while the cost of private lessons on a musical instrument may be prohibitive, a group lesson may be within your means.