Hobbies Should Matter to ADHD Kids

Who doesn’t like a movie about the reincarnation of a Chinese warrior saving the world from an evil villain? The movie Wendy Wu Homecoming Warrior got me hooked on taking karate lessons. I was so obsessed that I pleaded with my mom for months to let me take karate. That was over 5 years ago, and now I’m working toward my first degree black belt.

The Importance of Hobbies

You can’t expect ADHD kids to move along through school and offer them no way to unwind or escape. Kids like us need hobbies! Hobbies improve concentration and lower hyperactivity at the same time — if you choose the right activities. Aside from karate, which has been the greatest help to me, I discovered that playing a musical instrument is a benefit too. Violin practice keeps my fingers and arms moving while also focusing my attention on the sheet music.

Unfortunately, school usually takes most of our time because we have to work twice as hard as other students. If we don’t do well, we sometimes feel like failures. Kids, don’t have that mindset; and parents, don’t give them that mindset. Recite these six words: There are options outside of school.

Hobbies Lead to Other Career Options 

School is important, but it isn’t the only thing that matters. Why? It’s because ADHD kids actually have more career options, and it starts with hobbies. Now hear me out — you can’t be born with the imagination or creativity most of us have from being ADHD, and you can’t “learn” creativity like you can learn science or medicine. Those subjects are usually the basis of careers for non-ADHD students. But creativity will help us ADHD kids with interests/jobs such as painting or drawing, architecture, song writing or play writing, cooking, video game design, and performing (music, comedy).

This is an important thing to remember if we aren’t as good at most school subjects as non-ADHD kids, even when we’re trying our best. Begin by finding your creative talents through hobbies. I always liked creative writing, so I spent hours developing my ideas and typing stories on my laptop. I submitted some of them to writing contests and even won prizes!

Although it is a lifesaver to be aware of the whole “wide options” thing, it can be twisted into a tricky situation. Some kids will read this and think they no longer have to try in school. Not only is that a terrible decision, but it isn’t even true. You do need a minimum skill level given to you through school to have a chance at working in these creative fields one day. You obviously need English, art, music, theatre, technology classes, and other electives to exercise your blossoming skills. Combine these subjects with hobbies and discover your gifts early so you can build on them in later years.


I’m Selene Ashewood, aka S. A. Leigh, author of “Why Can’t You Stop Talking?!” 11-Year-Old Me & ADHD. In this book, I share funny stories and practical tips on organization, motivation, friendships, exercise, and creativity. My book is available through Amazon and other e-retailers.

I’m a 7th grader who is slogging through homework – but making honor roll – and training to become a fierce ninja. I play the violin, belong to a Girl Scout cadette troop, and publish stories and poetry using my actual name. In my free time, I search YouTube for outrageous videos and hang out with my crazy friends.

You can read my blog on www.additudemag.com and look for my upcoming article on impactadhd.com in January 2017. I make presentations at Washington, DC-based ADHD events. I’d love for you to follow me on Twitter at SeleneAshewood.

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