We are just wrapping up the school year and have finished end of year surveys with over a hundred of our mentored youth. One of the questions on the survey is “Did your mentor help you experience new interests and hobbies?” 80% of the time, the child (from 1st to 12th grade…so even 18 year olds!) answered the question with another, “What’s a hobby?” When we tried to explain they still wore a blank expression on their faces.
Since then I’ve been asking people if they still have hobbies. Some suggested that the kids don’t know what a hobby is.
I agree with that possibility, yet, when youth were stymied, we expanded the question to, “What do you do for fun?” Most frequently they replied: video games, texting, TV, sleep, or something of that sort. The saddest and most common answer to those who didn’t know was “Dunno.” Often that answer was mirrored in an earlier question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”
Youth growing up without interests outside of a virtual (AKA fake, phony, fraud) world and without a vision for the future is courting disaster.
I currently have 139 active mentors who have amazing and wonderful hobbies and interests. We have hundreds of “Friends of the Mentoring Network” who care about our local youth. I would love to hear your hobbies, interests, and ideas on how to share these with our kids. How do we share what we know with each other and then with the kids? Please contact me if you have ideas and hobbies to share!
Thank you for sharing who you are with these wonderful kids!