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My children always give up on activities.

(102 Posts)
plum100 Thu 13-Sep-18 23:38:20

Does anyone else’s? So annoying. For example my daughter did dancing for well over a year , really liked it used to be ready really early in time to go, then said “actually the timing isn’t right “ and she felt that when she was at class she was missing out on family time. So i said we would
Find her another class which she tried and didn’t get on with the teacher at all. Now I’ve found out that all her old dance friends go to a different club on a different day so I said I would take her but she’s adamant she doesn’t want to anymore. I find it so frustrating as she really did enjoy it. All of my children are
Like it they’ve tried horse riding, guitar, Zumba, martial arts , recorder and they always give up. Do you think it’s me - should I say no they can’t give up? Thanks

Singlenotsingle Thu 13-Sep-18 23:45:12

Mine used to wait until I'd paid out for the relevant clothes - football or rugby kit, karate outfit, before announcing that they were bored and didn't want to do it any more.
No point you insisting, though, if they've lost interest.

Rebecca36 Thu 13-Sep-18 23:46:49

It's quite normal for children to try things, be crazy about them for a while and then give up. It's part of growing up to have a go at all sorts of stuff.

Then one day they find something that they stick to for the rest of their life.

Blameanamechange Thu 13-Sep-18 23:53:07

Normal. Annoying but normal. I make mine finish for what I have paid for but I always explain that once it's paid for then they have to attend all of those sessions. A friend deducted half out of her dcs pocket money. They didn't do it again!

BarooSaidTheBear Thu 13-Sep-18 23:54:37

Very normal. My mother thought it wasn't and kind of drilled it into me that I 'couldn't stick at anything' - which I internalised and caused me a lot of issues later in life. Please don't do that to your child. Think of it as them trying things out.

Blameanamechange Thu 13-Sep-18 23:55:34

Meant they didn't say they wouldn't go again or start something they weren't willing to continue with!

Fatted Fri 14-Sep-18 00:00:00

Maybe they're just bored or want to do something else instead?

I used to love dancing every Saturday and did it for years. I was really good. But then as I went to high school I just wanted weekends to chill out at home instead of being sent off to dance class. So I quit.

curlykaren Fri 14-Sep-18 00:09:48

My son is 9 and has been doing one of his sports for longer than he has been in primary school. He goes through periods of not wanting to go but I always insist. It takes real time and dedication to become good at something and talent is worthless without practice. I think persistence is a valuable life skill.

plum100 Fri 14-Sep-18 00:15:57

Thanks 🙏 Barroo- I will remember that thank you xxx

BackforGood Fri 14-Sep-18 00:44:31

Whereas it is fine to not like something much, and not want to continue, it isn't a good thing to have no 'staying power'

Don't get me wrong, we all have days / evenings where we don't want to go out to something we've committed to, but I think it is a good thing in life to learn that sometimes you have to stick with what you have committed to, and that actually, once you are over the hurdle of getting your bum off the sofa and going out in the rain to get there, you then remember that {whatever it is} is something you really enjoy anyway.

I used to say to mine, when they said they didn't want to go "That's fine, but we have to go tonight / today so you can tell the coach / leader / volunteer running it, that you are going to finish at the end of the month as you aren't enjoying it any more." Funnily enough, when they got there, they remembered they did like it.

So - stopping doing something. Fine
Trying something else and not wanting to stick with it forever. Fine
Continually not committing to anything - not fine, in my book.

UpOnTheDowns Fri 14-Sep-18 00:49:37

Most activities are boring and pointless, which goes double for anything you are forced or "encouraged" to do. Give them a break!

TownHall Fri 14-Sep-18 01:55:01

I always let my kids give up activities if they wanted as long as they had completed whatever I had paid for. I insisted they become good swimmers but apart from that I let them do what they wanted. They did a few
Things long term but often just did things for a term or year before stopping. I didn't see it as a problem and they have grown up as hard working adults with a wide range of hobbies. Three out of the four kids carried on with sports throughout university and beyond.
Chopping and changing activities might mean that your kids don't end up becoming especially good at any of them but it means that they get to try lots of different things.
Kids have to work hard and focus so much on schoolwork these days I like the idea that extracurricular activities are for fun.

HerRoyalNotness Fri 14-Sep-18 02:00:58

I see the point of letting them try lots of things to sing what they like, but why if they never do?

I’ve insisted on 2 things they stick with. Tennis for sport, and piano for first instrument. We did change from group lessons to private (same cost!) and they are enjoying it better. Last year we did rugby and I insisted on the whole season. This year one wants to do it again, the other doesn’t which is ok. The one who doesn’t has added another instrument which he enjoys, and can’t give up for a full year at least.

So I think there is something to be said for sticking things out at least to have a good go of it. My friend let’s her Dc stop things after 3mths or less, I couldn’t put up with that

Logits Fri 14-Sep-18 03:16:41

My son is 9 and has been doing one of his sports for longer than he has been in primary school. He goes through periods of not wanting to go but I always insist. It takes real time and dedication to become good at something and talent is worthless without practice. I think persistence is a valuable life skill.

Poor kid

gastropod Fri 14-Sep-18 05:39:26

Mine have done this too - but I asked them to stick it out until the end of the period that had been paid for (year/term/whatever). They ended up continuing and it turned out to be a bit of a blip.

I think that some activities do get harder or the novelty wears off after a few months, but the kids haven't yet achieved a level that gives them satisfaction so they don't feel any "gain" for their efforts. In our case it paid off to stick it out as they both now enjoy the activities they had wanted to give up.

But having said that, if the kids are miserable it's obviously not worth pushing them to do something they hate for months or years.

famousfour Fri 14-Sep-18 05:58:08

It’s a balance isn’t it. I wouldn’t push something which made them miserable. But if there was something they liked overall but just couldn’t be bothered to go to from time to time, I would strongly encourage the commitment. I expect them to have at least one hung they pursue properly.

erinaceus Fri 14-Sep-18 06:07:34

I think it is okay to do this. Some people just like trying lots of things and chopping and changing as their situation changes. I do see that it is annoying if the parent has paid out for kit, and I think it's okay to insist on for example completing an already-paid-for course or series of lessons and on letting the coach/tutor know that you will be leaving. But some people are more dabblers and others are more in need of a constant anchor that they stick with all their life, and some people are a mix of both, and I think that all are okay.

Charley50 Fri 14-Sep-18 06:19:33

Lol singlenotsingle - Mine's another one who lets me get all the kit then decides they've had enough of that particular hobby.
He's stuck at basketball for a year now though so things are looking up!
I was a bit disappointed that he didn't stick with a musical instrument, and wanted to insist, but it's not in my nature to 'force' him.

OnBail Fri 14-Sep-18 08:26:46

My sons were the same, quit usually after I paid for a block of lessons. The only thing I forced them to do was swimming.

But as least they could never throw it back at me that I never let them do anything!

Kittykat93 Fri 14-Sep-18 08:36:18

I did hockey, guitar, violin, gave them all up after a while. You can't force kids to do something they don't want to do! I also did the same with brownies and guides. Doesn't mean I can't commit to anything as an adult smile

Miladymilord Fri 14-Sep-18 08:39:22

I have two dcs who were national level in a sport. One was literally the second best in the country at it. They still both gave up! Absolutely fine in my eyes, they should try loads of things.

They have a horse which they have to ride, as not doing so would be detrimental to the horse, apart from that they are free to pick and choose, pick up and put down.

MinaPaws Fri 14-Sep-18 08:47:00

As long as they are going to one or two activities a week, so they get some socialising and exercise outside school it doesn't really matter what they are or if they change.

I'd only insist if it's something you know they love but they are having a hormonal year and want to hibernate. If you know they'll regret giving something up once the duvet days have passed, just sign them up. But if they've grown out of something or lost interest, let it go.

Trampire Fri 14-Sep-18 08:56:50

I think it's quite normal.

When they were younger my two gave up Swimming lessons (to be fair they could swim at that point), ballet, karate, football, Scouts (dd did, but ds still goes).....

However now they're 13 and 11. Dd has consistently done Drama club at school which has meant she done some exciting stuff outside of school. She also had guitar lessons at school and this will be her 3rd year.

My ds is not sporty at all. He's tried many things.

The one time I didn't let him give up was during a Scout Review/Gang Show. He'd been rehearsing for nearly 6 months and one weekend he started to cry saying he hated it. The performance was only 4 weeks away! I rang the director and talked it through. She said to bring him and she'd chat to him. I virtually dragged him there. I'm not sure how she persuaded him but she did. He ended up absolutely loving it! Being in the theatre for rehearsals instead of the scout hut, the costumes, the lights. He was brilliant!
This year he was the first to sign up again and literally skipped into the rehearsals last weekend.

I'm so pleased I didn't let him give up. I very nearly did.

I think you just have to measure up these decisions at the time. Generally, I think it's normal for kids to try lots of stuff.

SharpLily Fri 14-Sep-18 09:26:04

The thing is that before you try something you don't really know if you'll like it - my mother always used to give me the 'you've made a commitment so you have to do it' speech, but at seven years old I don't feel I had made a fucking commitment. She had!

So I was told I would enjoy Brownies on the basis of going camping every weekend. We didn't go camping once, not ever, so of course I felt I'd been mis-sold and wanted to give up but apparently I'd made a commitment so that wasn't an option. Many activities I was introduced to by being told we'd do this cool thing or some other cool thing and when this never materialised and so of course I lost interest, I was forced to carry on for years.

It seems pretty obvious to me that no child is going to fall in love with something they're being forced to do against their will. I make sure my daughter does something for enough time to know if she really enjoys it but there's no way I'm going to keep forcing her to do things she doesn't like just so she learns some twisted lesson about 'commitment' hmm.

LooLaaToo Fri 14-Sep-18 09:33:42

Mine used to be like this. They're 11 and 13 now and are enjoying their hobbies and sticking to them alot more so it may be an age thing.

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