Every fall, we make the pilgrimage to Asheville, North Carolina for the Southeastern Animal and Fiber Festival, the biggest fiber show in our region. It is becoming a tradition for us to anticipate and attend this event.
We attend a couple of other shows throughout the year, but this one is the main attraction. My daughter Andrea, who is 14, loves to comb through (Ha! wool puns) all the vendor booths and check out the fun, beautiful things that come together to make this event something special.
Everything from raw wool to beautiful, dyed batts and roving, to hand woven baskets and finished works of art, and also the animals that produce all of that wonderful fiber (the alpacas are her favorite) – all of it is in one place for the fiber enthusiast to explore and enjoy. We always bring snacks and good walking shoes.
One of the most fun things about having teens is they can develop some amazing hobbies. In an earlier post, 5 Steps to Help Your Kids Unlock Their Talents and Interests, I related the story of how Andrea came upon her amazing hobby. She loves to spin fiber on her spinning wheel and either knit or crochet it into a beautiful creation. We enjoy going to the shows to find soft, wonderful fiber for her to use in her upcoming projects.
Here are 4 advantages teens can have when they develop a hobby they love.
- It gives them a boost in self-confidence. It is gratifying for anyone, especially a teenager, to have something he or she is really good at doing. Just knowing there is a cool thing they can do is a great thing for a teen to be able to claim. Their friends might be impressed, and even be inspired to find something of their own to try.
- It helps them discover their creativity. One of the things I did when home schooling my children in addition to our book work and assignments was to find things that helped them be creative. Art, music, traveling, anything that might encourage them to explore and imagine. Kids need to flex their creative muscles, and exercise the right side of their brain just as much as the left. They need to know the fun, creative, whimsical side of learning is just as important as the analytical, logical side. All of that works together to help them enjoy the learning process, and develop good critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
- It is therapeutic. Believe it or not, high school can be ridiculously stressful for teens, and kids can suffer from the effects of too much stress just like adults. They can develop everything from acne to eating disorders to insomnia. Now, I am not saying that having a hobby will cure any of those things, but having something fun and interesting to do provides an escape that can alleviate some of the anxiety and stress they experience.
- It could help them decide on a career path. You never know when a topic or an interest could really resonate with a teen. He or she could develop a talent or skill that could grow into something that the teen might pursue as a career or business. Be as encouraging as possible when your teen shows an affinity for a hobby. Those wheels are turning, and they will generate something amazing if you help them.
Don’t be afraid to be a little indulgent if your teen shows an interest in a particular hobby or avocation. Helping them find a specialty could be the key to unlocking a wonderful future for your teen.
If you found this post helpful, then please leave a comment in the section below. I would love to hear about your teens’ hobbies and interests. What do they do to decompress and destress? What are they really good at? Please share with others. We want to know!
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