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to want to spend "faaamly" time together?

(14 Posts)
cruelladepoppins Sat 08-Jan-11 16:34:45

Well I know that's not U in itself ...

I sometimes struggle for things to do with my 9 yr old and 11 yr old DSs that take them out of the house for fresh air and exercise. We don't have a car, so any outing involves some fresh air, even if it's only the walk into town to the bus stop.

They are horribly resistant to suggestions of spending time outside the house - we have loads of great walks nearby, river, beaches, hills, swimming pool, but no, all they want to do is spend time indoors with their electronic pacifiers.

In the summer we do bike rides now and again, or potter about on the river (have a canoe), this weather isn't really conducive.

They are also resistant to organised sports (although last term I insisted they choose one thing from the extensive list of after-school offerings; but that isn't faaaamly time).

We managed to swing a walk past them last week when a friend with 2 dcs came to the house and we took them all out together and they did fine; however when another friend offered to take us to the beach with a pile of kids tomorrow, my 2 absolutely refused to go.

Help!

elliott Sat 08-Jan-11 16:38:08

Are they allowed unrestricted access to their electronic pacifiers? Perhaps that is the issue.
I think you have to decide if you are going to insist on getting out or not. You could give them some choice within that - e.g. walk or beach or bike ride - but really if its something you want to happen, you need to make it happen!

Niceguy2 Sat 08-Jan-11 16:39:07

I'm interested in this too. My DS(9) isn't too bad but my DD(14) rarely wants to spend any "family" time together unless it involves a trip to clothes shops.

Asking her to come & spend some time in a park, swimming or heaven forbid a walk is met with a look which is half confusion and half irritation!

People tell me its normal for a teenager but it would be nice to spend some time with her outdoors which doesn't involve buying new clothes!

NorbertDentressangle Sat 08-Jan-11 16:40:48

Can you offer a carrot? For example the best way to get 6yo DS out for a long old walk is the promise of a cafe stop or hot chocolate at the end.

Or how about a family trip to do something like 10 pin bowling? It gets them out of the house, active but also has an element of something that might appeal to them.

I know what you mean though. I had a run-in with DD today as she was so reluctant to shift from in front of the TV/wii that she was in danger of growing roots.

nemofish Sat 08-Jan-11 16:41:28

If you just work part time or stay at home I would say get a dog.

We have a lovely fabby staff who doesnt really need walks (as long as she gets sufficient exercise being played with in the garden) but we love to take her for walks in the woods, parks etc. It would feel a bit aimless without the dog but when we take her that doesn't seem to matter.

Or perhaps faaaaamily unicycling?

BluddyMoFo Sat 08-Jan-11 16:44:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elliott Sat 08-Jan-11 16:45:43

Yes a dog is probably a good motivator (personally I hate them but I can see it might work for some)
And agree about incentives/carrots like cafe or meal out at the end (if they like that).
But I do still feel that they are still young enough for you to be able to create a few rules/expectations about spending time together.
Also, do they have enough warm clothes? My kids have been complaining about cold and it has certainly affected how long they want to spend out in this weather.

NorbertDentressangle Sat 08-Jan-11 16:54:20

Actually elliott, what you said about clothes has made me realise that during the snow back in January/Feb last year the DCs constantly wanted to be out sledging, having snowball fights and building snowmen. It drove me mad as I was constantly drying clothes etc

However, this last few months they've just groaned when its snowed and not wanted to go out in it at all.

SkyBluePearl Sat 08-Jan-11 18:41:35

I'd change things around so that they take part and as a reward get to enjoy screen time for an hour in the early evening. No taking part or doing other stuff equals no screen time.

Ingles2 Sat 08-Jan-11 19:01:51

oh I know this feeling well Cruella. I'm sure it must be boys / their age etc etc as I too have a 9yr old and 11 yr old ds and have this constantly.
Admittedly, Ds1 is in lots of teams and is usually playing football / rugby / cricket sometime over the weekend, but when the weather is bad tearing him from the EP's (electronic pacifiers) is a nightmare.
Ds2 is difficult full stop. He is dyspraxic, so has struggled to do any of the outside stuff like ride a bike but he would quite happily stay inside and never ever go out.
We've got a dog, so that's not the answer here,...
I've just talked to Dh and he reckons we should seriously limit EP time... not sure how we'd work it though.
Interested to see what you decide to do....

charliesmommy Sat 08-Jan-11 19:05:16

Walks arent really much interest to any kids that age unless there is something at the end of it..

How about limiting the electronic stuff, and having an indoor picnic, and playing board games for an evening.

elliott Sat 08-Jan-11 19:34:37

My boys are a bit younger (9 and 7) but we do get resistance to the idea of going out, increasingly. But once they are out they really enjoy it and you can see that it is what they need.
We have also just started board games in a big way since Xmas - we are all really enjoying that (recommend Ticket to Ride as an excellent game).
But we do limit screen time pretty substantially, and apart from early weekend mornings (when it is useful to keep them quiet for an hour or so) they are not allowed screen time until the end of the day. We certainly wouldn't let them play ds/watch TV instead of other activities during the day - and since that is the expectation we have set, it is easier to stick to it.

BluddyMoFo Sat 08-Jan-11 21:27:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cruelladepoppins Mon 10-Jan-11 20:48:26

Hi and thanks for your replies.

It made me realise something ...

Usually we do limit screen time - but during the holidays we relax the rules a bit - and of course it's during the holidays that I have spare time and am looking to interact more.

Will ponder further.

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