Am I allowing my DD to grow up lazy and unmotivated?(82 Posts)
All my DD's friends are all doing huge numbers of extra curricular activities. Gymnastics, ballet, piano, dance, brownies, swimming, French, Spanish, recorder, etc etc
My DD (7) doesn't want do anything. I ask her regularly about starting doing brownies or gymnastics etc but she always says no. I have a friend who basically forces her DD to do things but I feel it's hard enough getting her to do the things she has to do (school and homework etc) that I don't want to force her to do extracurricular activities as well.
So AIBU? Am I allowing her to become lazy? Should she be doing more? Or is it not an issue?
I think it's really good for them to have space to amuse themselves actually. Even if mine wanted to do a lot of classes I'd limit it to two.
I don't think there's anything wrong with not doing activities but it can be a good way to develop interests and friendships away from school. How about asking her to try one and promising she can stop after x weeks, no questions asked, if she doesn't like it?
I grew up doing nothing. zero. And I am lazy and unmotivated not to mention overweight. You don't have to force her into anything but I'd strongly encourage her to have interests even if it's just the two of you.
Watching with interest. My dd has zero interest in extra curricular stuff. She has ALWAYS been like this. Went to rainbows twice. Didn't like it. Went to brownies a few times, didn't want to go again. Went to drama club a few times. Said she gets to what to do in school all day and she doesn't want to be told what to do after school too.
I'm not going to force her. She is a proper homebird. Loves to potter about with arts and crafts. Sings her head off.
In fact the only thing she stuck to was choir, but that was with school and they have stopped it now and none local.
Very happy. Plenty of friends etc.
But I do feel like I should be encouraging her to do more. My dd has not long turned 8.
I grew up wanting to do things but never going - I was allowed to go to brownies when I was 10 (bit late!)
DD has done a few things and now just does music and brownies.
Mostly I want her to have contact with children away from school / I think gets more important the older they get
How much exercise does she get?
I'm not particularly bothered by extra curricular activities, but I insist both DCs do a couple of hours of sport a week.
I think there is middle ground between over-scheduled kids out at two different extra-curriculars every night and doing nothing.
I personally think it is a good thing to have something going on outside school.
Some kids never have a minute free which I think is worse than doing no activities at all
I do think most kids benefit from one or two activities though. I'm biased but I do think scouting/Guiding is good cause it includes a variety of things and it's not about being good at something the way sports clubs are. But anything that she enjoys is good.
But if she doesn't want to do stuff then I wouldn't force it. Extra curicular activities are supposed to be fun! Especially at this age. In their teens it can start becoming about looking good for various applications, but at primary it should just be fun.
I agree with PP to make sure she's getting a decent amount of exercise. It doesn't have to be classes and clubs, it can be running around the park with her friends or riding bikes etc etc
What does she do of an evening? If she comes home, plays with siblings, does craft or plays with toys, reads and potters with you as you prep supper etc. that's fine. Especially if she's physically active at school and at the weekends with friends and family.
If she comes straight home from school and is in a screen until bedtime that's not good no, and maybe out of home activities is the kick start she needs to become more active, intellectually and physically.
Honestly I think your DD might end up
missing out. At 7/8 my DD tried to give up everything. I made her keep up 2 sports and music. She's now 12 and LOVES them. She's fit, gets to play on lots of teams, meets other lovely children and has interests outside of the home.
I made her keep going because my parents didn't insist with me- I'm now overweight, unfit and unmusical! It's about more than the "doing" if the activity - meeting people, making friends, learning teamwork are all important.
I think it's good for kids to get into something that will be a life long 'way in' to social opportunities- like tennis or chess for example.
I did a sport to a high level as a child. I have nothing to do with it now, but I always know that if I moved to a new area and I was lonely I could go to the local club and volunteer to coach and I would be able to use it to meet people.
I also wouldn't rely on state school PE as a child's only exercise.
My ds has never wanted to join a club outside school - he's always done after school clubs, and is very active with us (swimming, walking, running, cycling), so I haven't pressed the matter.
Is she lazy and unmotivated?
If she just doesn't want to be told what to do, but does plenty of stuff on her own, I wouldn't see it as problem.
Also, wouldn't force her to do things, chances are she'd resent it. If she's glued to a screen all the time, take away the screentime and let her find something to entertain herself.
My eldest dd is also a homebody. At that age, she did swimming and had tried and dropped gymnastics, choir and the flute.
It did worry me a bit, but she seemed happy enough, and had friends at school.
Aged 9 she asked me to put her name down for Guides. She's been going now for 2 months and absolutely loves it.
So, there will still be opportunities to join new things as she gets older. I don't think you should force clubs and hobbies at all, apart from learning to swim.
I wouldn't make a child do something like a club if they didn't want to do it - my mum used to make me do ballet/tap/ballroom dancing - hated all of it and hated having to go ....I don't think they lasted long if I remember rightly but I'm certainly not lazy - I just didn't wanted to be pushed into something that I wasn't comfortable with and I have never made my kids go or carry on with something they don't like
even having paid rugby subs twice and bought tons of expensive cadet stuff for youngest ds
I went to brownies, but that was about it. I'm not lazy. Kids do so many activities now, I have friends/aquatintances who struggle to have one free night of the week due to kids clubs. Be pleased that she doesn't want to do millions of clubs and activities and instead encourage her at home to do things. For example baking, craft, gardening.
Can she swim? That's the only extracurricular thing that I would really push as it's so important. Otherwise I'd let her find her own way.
Depends what she's doing instead. If she's glued to a screen of some sort then yes, you need to get her out doing more. Turn off the screens. If she's doing crafts or playing with toys then I don't think you ought to worry too much
I would 'make' her do something.
In your shoes I would pick your quietest weekly time when she's most likely to get bored...a Sat morning/Sun afternoon or whenever. And then say 'right we're going to look for something fun to do on a Saturday morning. What sort of thing do you fancy?' You can then prompt if she really comes up with nothing but I would make that one regular activity non negotiable.
I also say depends what she is doing at home swimming was always compulsory till DS could swim 50m.
Other than this his choice..
What does she do instead?
My kids (similar age) do too many activities. They want to do EVERYTHING and I'm constantly having to ferry them around after school (despite saying no to a fair few clubs). They truly love the activities and hate the thought of missing even one of them, but they get very tired and so do I.
We really need more time pottering around at home. My friend has kids who do Brownies and nothing else, because they don't want to. I envy her. Her kids do lots of craft projects and cookery at home as well as general pottering. They have an excellent life.
I guess different kids like different things... wish mine were a bit less keen!
I was like your DD. I enjoyed the Cubs but not the Scouts and dropped it. I had plenty of friends and a full life. if she doesn't want these activities, don't push it.
My ds (10) & dsd (8) are both like this, don't want to do anything other than sit on Xbox / iPads. I have taken ds to karate, gymnastics, paid for guitar lessons, cello lessons, tennis - the only thing he's kept up is swimming as I won't let him quit but he does actually really enjoy it. Dsd only ever tried gymnastics & then quit, we recently forced her back into swimming lessons as she can't swim. My dd (4) on the other hand does swimming, ballet & now wants to start gymnastics. I think clubs / sport is good for kids but you can lead a horse to water & all that - it just depends what floats their boats.
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