This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Anyone else radically rethinking their DCs' activities?(69 Posts)
Now that everything has been closed for ages I'm wondering what is worth reconsidering for the DCs!
DS was doing swimming (but he has SEN and gets anxious and moving to a different day sent him into a spiral of refusal), Cubs (which is the same day as the old swimming group sadly and which was going well, and in theory dancing (but again he was really anxious and kept refusing).
DD was doing ballet (but has refused to do any on Zoom) and girls' football (she has done a tiny bit with DH in the back garden).
DS has dyspraxia and he really needs something to improve his coordination but he's SO anxious around new activities. He's been doing Zoom street dance but the club is 100s of miles away and he's been dancing so the instructor can sometimes see one arm!
He would also be really good at piano (or it would be good for him, one of them!) and a language we learn together if only he'd allow himself to be instructed.
DD is due to start Beavers at least but that's on ballet night so that might die a death. She like DS likes dancing but I don't think ballet is her thing.
Just wondering if everyone is really eager to get back into a routine or if this whole disruption to routine has made you rethink?
We have also had a bad experience with a few clubs for DS (excluded from a few and in one case they moved the time and location and didn't tell us, they told us it was folding!). So I'm very wary especially as we live in a small town.
It sounds like your poor DS is spending a lot of his non-school time being pushed out of his comfort zone. My DS has special needs and he needs lots more downtime than his NT peers to get his energy back.
If he's dyspraxic, I'd have thought piano would be one of the hardest things you could ask him to do - he would be reading two lines of music and co-ordinating both hands and his feet. I'd think he'd be better off with an instrument like a trumpet or a trombone.
If you offered him the chance to drop to a single out-of-school activity, what would he choose?
He's only 8 and he likes bumbling about on the piano making tunes. I was thinking of finding him a teacher that would allow him to do that! Not theory and classical stuff.
I think he'd drop out of dancing (though he realistically hadn't been for ages, we tried a new group in September but it didn't work out so we stopped). I asked him if he'd like to go to a group with boys (his main beef has been no boys in the groups!) and he said he'd like to carry on with the Zoom lessons.
He has only been to Cubs (well, Beavers before Christmas, Cubs since) and swimming (and hasn't swum at swimming) since about October. And swimming is a safety issue.
He has ADHD and he literally spent 5 minutes jogging on the spot in the hall yesterday as well as hours running around the house, up and down the stairs, sliding down the stairs on a duvet etc. etc. He is like a puppy and needs to be doing stuff. It's just WHAT he is best doing. He also gets little to nothing that improves his motor skills at school.
Have you asked them what they want to do
The answer would be "play on the ipad".
Oh and "see X friend" (in one case, mum has promised both boys they can play together for about 12 months and failed to deliver, in the other case I am pretty sure they have not been out of house and garden the whole of lockdown, I don't know if she'll be back at school).
We’re rethinking ours, yes. We didn’t think we did too many - beavers, football, karate (DS age 8) and guides, swimming, cycling, piano (DD age 11). Only one session of each per week. It’s really made a difference to time for DH and me though, not doing them. On the other hand, as you say, left to their own devices there would be little exercise going on.
Dd also went to ballet but refused on zoom, I think that's a pretty common thing
Perhaps drop one or so but maintain the preferred or best for them?
I find with things like hobbies or days out it helps to visualise for them so I would show my dd a picture of a swimming class v ballet and ask her to choose which she wants to do for instance.
It depends for us what or if things run properly as we don't drive it would need to be walking distance but dd has physical delay and problems so I'm keen to maintain something.
Dropping down to 1 with the idea that next year after moving house/area and hopefully when things resume properly would be when we look into another
My DD will be in year 7 in sep....she likes dancing and cheer and though she hasn't missed school I think getting back into some proper routine will be good for her.
Will be rethinking depending on the format stuff returns in - if swimming want to stick all the kids back down a group I'll leave that because it would be dreadful for DD2's self esteem.
Sounds like it’s not the activity that matters, but it would be worth rubies to find an activity that is delivered by a teacher/instructor with lots of SEN experience who can build a relationship with your Ds where he WILL allow himself to be instructed. (We found such a hallowed creature for ballet for eldest dd many moons ago.) Find the loveliest, local prep school with a good SEN reputation that you can’t afford, nosey around their website to see what extra curriculars they buy in and google who teaches them, then see what they offer in the community😀
I'll be having a rethink about my DC's activities. DC1 has/had football 4 x a week and swimming. DC2 had Beavers, gymnastics, swimming and hoop dance. It's been amazing not having to spend every evening dashing between locations or getting up at the crack of dawn to get DC1 to a match. DC2 would love to drop Beavers but needs something else to keep them active.
You don't need a teacher to supervise bumbling about on the piano and experimenting with melodies.
Have you considered a trampoline for all that energy?
Is there any Irish dance teaching in your locality? Boys do Irish dance. Also modern/ jazz dance. Your DD might like Irish/ jazz dance too.
I've asked both of my dc do they want to go back to all of there activities when they reopen, to which they both replied yes. They do nine each a week and I've saved a fortune during lockdown!
My dd's riding lessons and the climbing lessons for both dc are the only ones to have reopened so far. My ds has also decided he would like to do sea cadets too, but I think it may fall on that same day as another sport so he'll have to make a decision.
Some of my friends do don't do anything outside school but mine like being busy.
I’m keeping ours, swimming lesson once a week, ballet once a week (starts again tonight) and rugby tots every Saturday.
He loves the swimming and ballet, he isn’t a huge fan of rugby tots, but I’ve just bought the franchise so come September he’ll have his own session and he’ll have to be there for the younger childrens session.
Not really rethinking here. I will be signing mine up for as near as normal as possible tbh.
DD1 like your DS has coordination problems and also muscle weakness and really really needs the exercise (she has cp not adhd so won’t bounce around the house by herself, she needs a fun class and peer pressure to help her keep going when it gets tiring). She’ll be doing swimming as soon as it starts, ballet if that starts again and possibly tennis.
My advice is keep trying activities till you find something he really loves. Otherwise you will never get value for anything due to missed lessons or unenthusiastic child. (Although I will enforce swimming even though DD resists that, as it’s so good for her).
@anothermansmother where do yours do climbing lessons? DD2 is half monkey and would love those!
Mine are dropping swimming - they're in stage 7 so can swim, also dropping brownies.
They are desperate to get back to gymnastics so once that reopens we will try and up it to twice a week and they are going to continue with football.
It has been so nice to not have to fanny about on saturday mornings to get them to swimming.
My 11 year old finished ballet /tap etc aprox 1 year ago after attending every week pretty much since age 4, she was undecided for quite a while but without any pressure from me choose to stop.It had become a chore, she would like it once there but moaned each time leading up to lesson. Great relief to me to not have to plan around it , she does guides which she loves and is constantly outside with our dogs and on her trampoline, she can swim and is always on the go.
We have no plans to add anything else to her week !
@minipie we have two climbing centres near where we live ( big city) and the run children's classes on Monday and Friday evenings. They are both doing NICAS level 4 or 5 at the minute, they can't start until they are 7 though. Find your nearest climbing centre they probably do them too.
DS1 has swimming, cubs, karate and an option of parkrun at the weekends. Drums at lunch at school (not resuming yet...)
DS2 has the same (but beavers) plus football at school that is not resuming straight away.
DS1 has dyspraxia and ASD. He copes as long as he has a gap between school and the activity. He did gymnastics when he was younger and swapped for karate. HCPs have commented about the swimming/ gymnastics and karate being good for his co-ordination, and he's not too bad at sport. At least the running helps him catch up
Thanks anothermansmother! Just been looking at options near us and it seems there are some but DD may have to wait a bit for many of them - she’s only 5
Sounds like his behaviour is an issue at the clubs?
If he doesnt really want to go i would leave it.
Swimming is probably best taught on holidays. 30 min at a time with lots in the pool for lessons isnt too good. Dc1 was doing brownies, cookery, spanish and swimming. Some wont be back yet anyway. Swimming we might leave as she can swim despite being only level 3. She has adhd behaviour and pda behaviour too so maybe when anxious is really hard to get in the pool. Then might misbehave too. Luckily in some ways she is more inattentive than hyperactive. But reallt impulsive so weve had licking the kindle, sqirting whole bottles of shampoo in the bath etc. She is mostly ok at clubs, non physical ones seem to be better. But theyve all had to have a word with us about behaviour but it just so random and comes and goes. (Worse with end of term excitement or illness). The person running it can make a big difference. With swimming one guy was really struggling with her but the other hasnt had to say anything.
Dc2 is similar and noved up a swimming class and this ladt didnt want them to dive under while they were waiting. Dc2 just would not stop doing it (4yo) and just ended up with a very irritated teacher.
Sadly we don't have room for a trampoline!
I think he'd do better with a sympathetic teacher and feel he's achieved something if we can get him piano lessons.
I don't think there are any "lovely prep schools with good SEN reputation" within 50 miles sadly...
You might need to look a little further away. After being asked to leave a few clubs (same issues as your DS) we struck gold with a small swim school which believes every child should have the right to learn to swim. Classes of four. Don't teach badges, but focus on confidence and the child's ability.
Other sports clubs we've had to leave. So now DS has to do exercises at home, running or biking. He won't do it try anything else. We limit screen time - no activity, no screen time. His physio suggested the Nintendo Switch Ring Fit as a way to encourage him.
He'll be doing swimming again, we're cutting out a therapy and DC2 will be doing 3 clubs when they start again.
Please login first.