Dad and son doing art projectSharon Scott, LPC, LMFT – Smile Notes, do you know your child’s talents and passions? Encourage Your Child’s Interests

In my private counseling practice I see so many children and teens who tell me their hobbies are hanging out with friends or playing video games.

So many kids seem to not have any real interests that expand their minds or challenge them or increase fitness. They seem bored with life.

We are now seeing Facebook depression,so called because some kids are getting depressed thinking their life is not as impressive as a peer’s who has all their brags and photos on their page. We also know that high cholesterol and other health issues are showing up in kids due to their inactivity.

When I was young my parents rode bicycles with me, we played miniature golf, we visited grandparents where Daddy and I would walk to the creek and explore, we worked in the yard together, we played tennis and often we would just throw a tennis ball on top of the house and see who could catch it as it rolled off. At various times I collected different things’from rocks to coins’and Mother and Daddy both showed interest and were involved with me. We also played the Scrabble game that was in the newspaper, cards, Monopoly and Daddy even taught me to dance (well sort of!).

I encourage you to limit your child’s time on technology and think of things you could do,separate and together–this summer.

You could begin planning and researching for next summer’s vacation.You could go to Wal-Mart and buy a new game (chicken foot is fun and inexpensive!).Find a park to walk and then sit and eat the sack lunches you brought with you.Learn how to make homemade ice cream (the good kind that you crank!).Jointly take lessons such as ballroom or Latin dancing, self-defense or swimming.Collecting things and searching for them can be fun.I collect cocker spaniel figurines and have a couple of hundred.I’ve also taken up making pot holders again and my friends love that I am making them some to match the colors in their kitchen. I did this as a child with my mother and when she visits, we’re at it again! The kit cost me less than $3 and the loops are inexpensive. A good site for kits to make such things is www.klutz.com.

Have a fun and interactive summer with your child!

[Editor’s Note:Another great idea is to order Sharon Scott’s wonderful books for children and read them together.She has five books for children from teaching good character to being kind to thinking on your own and more!She also authored two award-winning books for teens on managing peer group pressure that became best sellers.See www.hrdpress.com/sharonscott.]

Copyright © 2016, Sharon Scott.No reproduction without written permission from author.

P.S.Please see my other column on Reducing Tantrums.

Sharon Scott

Sharon Scott

Sharon is the author of eight award-winning books including four on the topic of peer to peer pressure.

The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.

Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!

A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.

Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.
Sharon Scott

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