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Lazy six year old!(28 Posts)
My lovely daughter is six. She’s clever and bright and funny and happy and the light of my life.
I’m becoming increasingly concerned however, because she has become very lazy.
She has never been a fan of running around outside or climbing trees etc. She prefers to draw etc. That’s fine, I get that. I was similar as a child. But it’s getting to the stage now that she won’t do much physical exercise at all except under duress.
She has a bike so we get her out and about on that. It still has stabilisers. We have tried to take them off but she’s just not getting the two wheeler thing at all yet. We will persevere. But the problem is that a wee boy in her class made fun of her for still having stabilisers and now she’s reluctant to get on the bike.
We walk to and from school most days. It’s a 15 minute walk. She moans all the way, drags her feet, faffs about. She loves the park so we go there but again she doesn’t really run around. She will very slowly climb (she lacks a bit of confidence).
The final straw for me came the other day, when she told me that she would rather play alone in the playground than with her friends, because “they’re always running. I don’t want to run it makes me too tired”. I do think the other issue is that they have a kind of wooden trail thing (balance beam, monkey bars etc) which her friends love and she struggles with it. Her balance isn’t great and she gets upset because “they hang upside down on the bars and I can’t do it” (I sympathise here - I was the same as a child. I didn’t have the confidence to do things like that and I was a bit clumsy and awkward with things like that).
She would honestly sit in front of the tv all day if I would let her (which I don’t) or play on the DS (which I have now hidden in the hope she will lose interest in it).
I hope I have explained myself properly. I get to ah she’s not into it and that’s ok. I just don’t want her to end up overweight and unhealthy.
A 6yo too tired to run doesn't sound right. I'd ask your GP about vitamin supplements. They are usually reluctant to do blood tests at this age because it can be quite stressful for the child but could suggest which vitamins to try first.
I would be concerned and not label this as laziness without having her general health checked. I do remember one child like this being diagnosed with heart problems. Sorry to be alarmist but don't push her to exert herself until you are sure she is fit enough to exercise.
I don’t know that she’s too tired to run. It’s more that she can’t be bothered and doesn’t enjoy it. But I think the vitamin supplement is a good shout and it might perk her up a bit. She’s also a bit of a night owl so while she’s in her bed for 8pm she will often stay awake looking at books etc till gone 10pm (not every night - maybe once or twice a week). I’m not sure what to do about that really. I mean she has a bedtime routine etc but I can’t make her go to sleep.
I have a night owl. She was often tired at that age. She just wouldn’t go to sleep before 9:30, and wouldn’t wake up either.
She’s 14 now , and still a night owl. And still not interested in being physically active. Although not a night owl l hated physical activity in my youth.
I think some people are more energetic than others.
She did climb stuff though and run round with her friends
Is she getting enough iron? I'd be tempted to boost her iron with a gentle supplement like Spatone or similar and see if it makes a difference in her behaviour.
She's not dyspraxic is she? Clumsiness may cause her to lack confidence, which will lead to not even wanting to try to do stuff. And the 'too tired' may be an excuse (do you use the 'too tired' excuse to her sometimes, to get out of doing things? Because she may just be parroting that back to you.)
It’s funny I have long suspected I have mild dyspraxia (is that a thing?) but never diagnosed etc. Maybe it’s worth looking into for her.
God yeah I’m always saying I’m too tired right enough
There's a vast difference between won't do and can't do.
Ask to see an Occupational Therapist for an assessment of your DD's coordination and joint flexibility. (Dyspraxia and Hypermobility)
In some areas you can self-refer, in others you need to go via your GP.
I'd get her checked out for general health, dispraxia, hyper mobility (can cause joint pain).
Make sure she has a good balanced diet and enough sunshine.
I'd try to make bedtime earlier if possible.
Physical activity is vital for healthy growth, bone strength and mental health in children and young people. The minimum recommended amount is one hour a day. Don't dismiss it too lightly.
What can they do for dyspraxia? If it’s diagnosed what happens?
If it’s diagnosed there are vitamin supplements that can help (vitamin d, b vitamins, omega oils) and there are physical exercises and interventions that an occupational therapist or physiotherapist can help with.
More importantly it gives you both an explanation so she doesn’t grow up just thinking she’s clumsy and lazy.
Good points above.
I'd also say kids tend to develop either gross motor skills or fine ones first and the other catches up over time.
Not all kids are naturally sporty and if she has been teased that might make her even less likely to try.
Is there anything she likes doing? I know it's particularly difficult at the moment, but does she swim? Activities like climbing, trampolining and maybe horse riding use different skills and are perhaps less likely to lead to comparisons with her peers.
My DD really struggled with learning to ride a bike and even when she got the hang of it, disliked it. Happier with a scooter.
She didn't like gym, or dance, but will muck in with most activities in Guides and has discovered that she likes boxing and some gym stuff, but she's older than yours by some years.
I have never said that to her. I’m nothing but a cheerleader
No of course, I didn’t mean to imply that you had.
But my parents never said they thought I was lazy or clumsy. I heard a lot of it at school though, and that was definitely what I thought until I got a diagnosis. Even if it’s not said outright, children see what others in their peer group are able to do and pick up on it.
Would she consider joining Brownies? My DD was a Brownie, now a Guide and (depending on the unit) it's often a good place for non-competitive physical activity. More varied than a single club and with lots of creative stuff too.
In my experience, the friends in guides tend to be a bit kinder than schoolfriends.
Good idea to get her checked out for dyspraxia and hypermobility too.
I suppose it's like a dyslexia diagnosis - the diagnosis doesn't make it easier to read/coordinate but it might mean that she's less likely to receive frustrated reprimands from a teacher thibkinf she isn't trying hard enough. And they might be able to tailor activities to her abilities so she gets some encouragement and can improve rather than always failing and developing a complex about sports because she's trying things which are out of her ability zone.
I forgot dyspraxia! I have it, and l think dd has it too. It’s meant to be quite tiring to do exercise with it as you have to make everything work harder
She’s in Rainbows and she absolutely loves it. But it’s not been running since March and there’s no indication as to when it might start again 😔
Mine are like this. Obviously you should rule out the stuff pp suggest but I have found just making them do stuff the only way.
DH makes them go on bike rides and they like it eventually. I made them go to dancing lessons and they ended up looking that too. Going to fun adventure playgrounds etc a lot too. It's a constant struggle though!!
A tip with the bike thing: balance bikes are a much easier way to learn than stabilisers and you can just take the pedals off her current bike to get the same effect. Frankly if you lived in London you'd have a know all lycra clad man telling you this when you hadn't asked every hundred paces.
She sounds very sweet!
Look into the vitamins, they might perk her up a bit, and continue encouraging her to move. It’s a pain but you will get there with lots of encouragement. It sounds like you are already doing that and I’m sure the results will come soon.
Does she like swimming? Would she like gardening or maybe horse riding, pottering about with a pet bunny or pet guinea pigs? Get some movement going by cleaning the cage, constructing toys for the animals.
With regards to walking to school, could you make it more exciting by spotting people, puppies etc? Even get her to listen to music? And I know this sounds ridiculous, but maybe she would like yoga or pilates for children? Or even ballet?
You might also think about getting her thyroid checked and maybe blood sugars / tests for diabetes too, particularly if she feels tired when trying to keep up with other children.
Oh yes, swimming is great, especially somewhere you can jump in as it's great exercise and they'll do it for ages. But tricky at the mo, like most things, unfortunately
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