Firstly, there are no “Bad” hobbies for your kids. Even if your kid wants to scribble stick figures all day, there are no negative hobbies. But, as we are all aware, there are some hobbies that are a little more productive than others. Your kids don’t need productive hobbies, but you can at least introduce them to a few. Perhaps they will like them.
Try Free Things
This is a pretty broad and vague tip, but it is important before considering the alternative (paid hobbies). You should introduce your kid to free hobbies first because they don’t come with any baggage.
When you pay for a hobby, be it karate or go-karting, there is applied pressure on the child to enjoy the activity or to get something out of it. If you have ever wondered why kids like things for a while and then suddenly quit when they are starting to get good, it is because of the pressure being applied to enjoy the task.
Try to Diversify Free Activities
Start with something simple, like teaching your kid to draw anime. Don’t start with YouTube videos on how to do it. Get some tracing paper and a comic and have your kid trace different elements from different pictures to make a compilation picture that looks like its own thing. Try out a few free Smartphone or PC apps that allow kids to draw, and then look into tutorials on how to draw anime. Then, if your kid starts to explore different types of drawing, then allow it.
Trying Paid Hobbies
Firstly, even if your kid isn’t taking it up as a hobby, you should have your kid take swimming lessons. They may teach it in school if you are lucky, but you greatly improve your child’s chances of survival if you teach your kid how to swim.
After that, you should pick a range of subjects, both active and sedate. Try to avoid your own limiting beliefs. For example, you may think your 11yr old would rather play football than try computer coding, but there are websites that teach essential coding concepts in a way that also draws the parents into the process. The games and features are things you can do together with your kids, which is not always true of things like football.
With that in mind, do consider outdoor activities where you are involved. That way, even if the hobbies do not take over the long term, at least you both had a little time together and made a few memories.
Drop Your Priorities
Obviously, we all want our kids to partake of productive hobbies and we want them to build a solid foundation of skills. We also want them to experience as much out of life as possible. And, where these are all laudable goals, you mostly need to drop your priorities. Your job is to expose your kids to as much as possible, but if they still decide that become a world champion at Donkey Kong, then you have to let it play out.
Again, there is nothing stopping you from diversifying a few activities and ideas to expose your kid to other things, but let them have their hobbies, no matter how unproductive they seem. The e-sports kids now earn more than their parents, and the kids making Roblox skins are now making paid DLC for famous computer games.
Frankly, there is no shortage of weird hobbies people have had that ended up paying off in the end. Be it a beer-pong champion getting an advertising deal on TikTok, to the girl who kept dressing up her cuddly as a kid, who is now a famous fashion designer. The moral of the story is that sometimes you have to let your kid’s hobbies play out and just hope for the best.