This article examines the changes that children go through during the ages of 6-9, the importance of hobbies and how these may help to ease the difficult transition.
Child development from ages of 6-9
Physically, the child’s motor skills are developing. As coordination abilities grow, the child will become increasingly concerned with his or her physical ability, and may test out various components of fitness such as balance by walking on narrow ledges. They will tend to have higher energy levels than before and be more active than you may be used to.
Mentally, children may be more curious and excited about the world around them, absorb information more quickly and develop or display preferences for subjects in school and recreational activities. You may also find their language skills growing in tandem with a new capacity for expression.
Some children may find it hard to cope with all these concurrent changes. At this age, they become aware of the world around them, and have to make sense of not just their external realities, but with the changes that are going on in their bodies as well. Consequently, some children may have quite a bit of fear locked inside of them, and can respond either with excessive bravado, refusing to reveal any insecurities, or gravitate to the other extreme of withdrawing into shells.
The Importance of hobbies
Hobbies can function as an important avenue for a child to cope with life’s frustrations, such as a bad day at school or a fight with their best friend. Learning a new skill or acquiring knowledge in the field that the child is interested in is a critical way to build confidence, competence and self-esteem. Furthermore, some children develop hobbies that accompany them through adolescence and blossom into a career.
Beyond the children’s personal growth, hobbies can also serve as a time for father and child to bond, as well as an opportunity for the father to teach his child about the world, about life, and to provide a guiding hand through this difficult period.
Fostering age-appropriate hobbies for your child
Provide your children with varied opportunities to explore in order to develop their individual imagination and satisfy their burgeoning curiosity. Spend some time considering which hobbies are best for your child, bearing in mind their individual strengths and talents. Allow your children to exercise their autonomy and encourage them in their choice of activity as much as possible.
Here are some activities you can consider:
- Team sports such as football. Sports hone coordination, agility, athletic ability, as well as teach the concepts of teamwork, sportsmanship, and most importantly, how to lose. It is inevitable that a child will encounter some setbacks in his or her life, and it may be best for the child to learn how to handle that early on in life.
- Baking or cooking. Some parents may hesitate to let their children into the kitchen out of fear that the use of knives and fire may endanger their children. However, cooking does not necessarily have to involve those tools; for example, a father could make ice kacang with his child or simply let them choose their pizza toppings. Cooking provides a child with a sense of accomplishment and responsibility, and starts the child on the path to learning a new skill that will come in handy for the rest of his or her life.
- Martial arts. Apart from the obvious benefits of having a child be able to defend himself or herself and gain mastery over his or her body, martial arts can also teach a child self-discipline, and the ability to control his or her own emotions.
- Embroidery can help develop your child’s sense of aesthetics and creativity, as well as hone his or her hand-eye coordination.
- Collection of stamps or coins can help teach your child about the geography and history of other countries and cultures. Stamp collection involves activities such as collecting envelopes, removing the stamps, and determining how to classify them into categories, all which provide a foundation for more advanced organisational skills as the child grows.
- Music or dance can teach your child about music and rhythm, as well as enhance their self-esteem and cultivate an nterest in the performing arts. Children also acquire important social skills when they interact and cooperate with their peers during social activities. Music is also an avenue for children to explore their emotions by listening to songs that deal with various themes and evoke different moods.
- Crafts such as construction sets can help your child better understand how things work, fulfilling their natural curiosity as well as honing their fine motor skills.
Hobbies can offer children a wide range of psychological, emotional, physiological and social benefits, as well as bring you closer to your children. They are also an opportunity for you to guide your children through what potentially is a very trying period in their life and impart important life lessons. As dads, you can inspire your child to discover a satisfying hobby by being observant and building on your child’s interests.
About the Author : The Dads for Life Resource Team comprises local content writers and experts, including psychologists, counsellors, educators and social service professionals, dedicated to developing useful resources for dads.