Tag Archives: hobbies

3 Ways I Helped My Son Figure Out His New Hobbies

Photo by author

Photo by author

Before our divorce, my ex and I decided to get some chickens for our urban home.  We started with a few and pretty soon got hooked.

Fast forward a bit and I ended up with custody of the chickens and my son and I raised them for several years until we finally ended up with a landlord unwilling to let us bring them along.

But during the years we had them, my son (and his friends) loved the chickens.  While not smart, each one had a personality and each one laid eggs with deep yellow yolks.  He learned about caring for animals and responsibility.  He also learned what a coyote can do to a small flock of hens.

Our experience with chickens played a role in figuring out what post-rugby hobbies my son would take up.  As you recall last week, we had some interesting suggestions…none of which I could immediately implement.

We talked about several options and two emerged the winners: starting a garden and beginning CrossFit for kids.  How did I contribute to this?

Photo by author

Photo by author

I asked him to make an expanded list of choices.  As you know from last week’s blog, his initial list of hobby choices was…adventurous.  I asked him to expand his list and encouraged him to brainstorm everything he could.  His new list had several additions in the extreme category, but we talked about plusses and minuses, and we talked about activities I engaged in previously.  I told him about my experience one summer at a CrossFit box and how much I enjoyed it, and the discussion led to his ultimate decision to investigate CrossFit for kids and to pursue it.

I encouraged him to list what interests him.  He and I (and the new blended family) have discussed getting chickens again, but we have new puppies and the timing is not right.  He and his youngest stepbrother had talked about a garden instead of more animals.  The process of listing interests and crossing off the marginal ones pointed back to something my son loves…growing and harvesting.  This time, he will harvest veggies and fruits instead of collecting fresh eggs, but it will scratch a similar itch.

Photo by author

Photo by author

I followed through.  We cannot go through a process like this and let our kids down by dropping the ball (which I have done on multiple occasions).  On Sunday, we got the necessary supplies at Home Depot and started the gardening project.  This coming Friday, he will go to his first CrossFit for kids class at a box just a few minutes away.

Giving our kids some options other than screen time helps everyone.  Finding a way to connect with our kids by exploring their interests, sharing our interests and experiences, and figuring out how to execute will pay dividends in the long term.

Now we just have to wait and see what comes of the garden…and if he likes CrossFit.

Have your kids chosen a hobby based on something you did as a kid or something they saw you do as an adult?  What was it?

Helping Your Kids Find Hobbies

My son just wrapped up his rugby season and does not plan to play spring baseball.  On one hand, I do not have to drive him to practice and we get our Saturday mornings back for a few months.

Unfortunately, when asked what he wants to do in the coming months, he can only come up with activities requiring either constant parental supervision or being over 18 years old.

A partial list of things he seriously would like to do (as an 11-year-old):

  • Bike riding on highway access roads
  • Motorcross
  • Welding


Photo Credit: parkerwelds via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: parkerwelds via Compfight cc

I explained his choices sounded interesting, but we not activities he could do without an adult.  Therefore, he could begin any of those as a hobby.

Then he said a word we all said as kids ourselves, but we want to scream when our own kids say it: “But everything else is boring!”

When our kids say they are bored we come up with the usual responses like, “if I told my mom and dad I was bored, they made me do chores” or “only boring people are bored.”  Neither do us or our kids much good.

So, it was time to redirect and come up with some other ideas.  However, nothing I mentioned sounded the least bit interesting to him.  Music lessons, acting, another sport, reading, collecting something – nothing caught his attention.

I have asked him to write down a list of all the things he finds interesting and from there, pick a few subjects we could turn into a hobby.  When i told him TV and Xbox could not appear on his list, he did seem a bit sad, but at least he knows he can create a list of his interests and not mine.

I told him to be as crazy and creative as he could.  Maybe welding stays on his list, but we can discover some way to work with metal as a beginner…not an expert.  His list will give us a chance to learn what kind of options are out there and force us to get creative as we find an activity for him.  And it will give us a chance to communicate and spend time together.

As of today he has not picked a new hobby, but I am holding out hope.  And searching Craigslist for used welding equipment.

What kinds of hobbies do your kids do?  What is the most unique hobby you or your kids have?