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Does your child have a hobby? Does he actively participate in extra-curricular activities? Here's why he should.

Many people spend their all their time consumed by work. They have little time for anything else. They go to office, return, have dinner, spend some time with their family, and go to bed - only to rush to work again the next day.

Ravi Kapur did nothing but concentrate on his work for years on end, until one day he was convinced to take up tennis by a friend. At first he was very hesitant. He didn't know how to play the sport, he would be a complete beginner, and he was normally too tired to do anything when he returned from work. The very thought of playing a sport after a tiring day was not appealing, but he was pressurised greatly by his friend to try it out 'just for a month.'

He started playing, first with the coach and then with his friend, and would spend around an hour on the courts. Before long, his game improved and he started enjoying it. But what amazed him the most is that instead of being too tired to play, he found that once he was done with the game and had taken a quick shower, he was actually feeling completely refreshed and cheerful.

Do you feel as if one day just melts into another?

You don't have to be working in the office for this. Many stay-at-home mothers spend all their time tending to their homes and their children, and are so caught up with running around trying to complete all their chores, that before they realise it the day is over. A hobby you love gives you something to look forward to, and provides a much needed break from your daily routine.

A hobby lets you spend time doing something you love.

"I love being with my children," you say. But remember, a hobby that is dependent on someone else is not really a hobby. Your children may move out a few years later, and then you will have to find a new 'hobby'. A hobby should be something you can continue by yourself, no matter where you are or with whom.

Teach your children the importance of having a hobby and building up a skill in something other than their studies.

It could be anything - from gardening to music to playing a sport. Lay all options in front of your child, and let him know that once he selects a hobby, it would be in his own interests to pursue it to its fullest extent. If your child is interested in music, enrol him for lessons so he can learn to play an instrument of his choice. If he starts out young, he can develop the skill to a great extent. Any skill will give your child confidence, and even if he doesn't take up music professionally, a whole new world of concerts, events, drama, literature will open up to him - thanks to his perseverance with his hobby. If your child starts pursuing a hobby from when he is young, he will always have an outside interest to help him through.

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