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Share Your Hobbies With Your Child

Weave It Into

Everyday Life

Encourage your child to borrow books from the library about your hobby. Take him to museum exhibits, performances, or fairs that relate to it. Or try building the hobby into vacations. The Wager family of New Rochelle, New York, is passionate about music: Mom Terry plays the flute, Dad Marc plays the French horn. Their sons, Adam, 17, and Noah, 13, both play piano and sing. Every summer, they go to a chamber music festival and hang out with others who share their interest. "The boys look forward to it. If we stopped going, they would be brokenhearted," says Terry.

And that's when you know you've really connected, says Dr. Rosenfeld: "Any ritual or interest that you can share as a family establishes a sense of identity — of who you are as a family. And that will stay with your children all their lives."

Beth Levine, a writer who specializes in parenting and health, lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.