"What are your hobbies?" the school doctor asked. "I don’t really have hobbies", my child answered quietly. The doctor gave her a puzzled look and then looked at me. I was so astonished I was speechless.
"I don’t really have hobbies", said this child of mine, who goes swimming twice a week, skates and skis a lot, goes jogging, actively participates in outdoor games and bounces on the trampoline. This child who works skillfully and carefully on her bullet journal, does crafts, does jigsaw puzzles, makes videos with her sisters, reads a lot, listens to audio books, takes care of our guinea pig and sometimes even bakes. It seems to me she has so many hobbies that I feel breathless just to think about them.
On the way home I asked her why she had said she has no hobbies. She explained that she had been told all hobbies need to have a coach or a leader. When she had said swimming was her hobby, she had been told it was no proper hobby because she was not on a team or a member of a swimming club.
I am perplexed by this definition of hobbies: children are driven by an adult to some place where they do some activity under the guidance of another adult. True enough, nearly all of our children have such hobbies maybe once a week.
Some of our children’s classmates have supervised hobbies on every weekday and often even during the weekends. That must be hectic for both the children and their parents. But who am I to say? It is probably up to the child how many hobbies he or she can have, but children do not always recognize signs of stress in themselves. Nor necessarily do the parents.
We know that stress overloads the brain and causes fatigue, even to children. We know that school may seem stressful, but many hobbies are also very goal-oriented. One of our kids showed signs of fatigue when she had several supervised hobbies and was also conscientious about her schoolwork.
I think that the weekly schedules of both children and adults should have several breaks, during which they need not try to accomplish anything. It is good to be downright bored once in a while.
When one of our kids complains that he or she has nothing to do, I tell them to enjoy themselves. I hardly ever have such empty moments myself. If there is nothing else, there is always a need to tidy the home.
I have also noticed that moments of boredom are often followed by long periods of spontaneous play or creative craft projects. I myself seem to find the best motifs for my art after some time of doing nothing.
I hope that our children can live a careless childhood free from strict schedules. It is also important that both children and adults have time to meet their friends.
I met some friends recently, and we discussed hobbies. We had all made the same decision to choose for ourselves and our children hobbies that did not overlap with services or Bible Class.
We concluded that faith is such an important matter to us that we hope our family members will only choose hobbies that will not be leading them away from faith.
I think hobbies are a good thing, and doing something by oneself is just as valuable as doing something in a supervised group. Overall, moderation in hobbies is good for us and our faith.
Text: Virpi Mäkinen
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original blog post here.
Jumala ei ole jättänyt luomakuntaa oman onnensa nojaan. Näin todettiin Suomen Rauhanyhdistysten Keskusyhdistyksen (SRK) vuodenvaihteen puhujienkokouksessa Jyväskylän rauhanyhdistyksellä. Luottamus Jumalan johdatukseen nousi esille monessa puheenvuorossa. Keskustelun johdannoksi kuultiin Esa Koukkarin pitämä alustus aiheesta Jumala on luomakunnan Herra.