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Do I make teenager stay on at club?

(21 Posts)
StarEclipse Wed 27-Feb-19 19:08:59

DS was so excited to join the cadets and waited ages until he was old enough to go.

He has now been going 6 months and has achieved some badges and has made friends there too. However, whenever it is cold outside or he just seemingly wants to game, he will come to me and say cadets is boring and does he have to go.

On other nights he goes without complaint and has a good time.

My usual response when he does complain is to say that if he does not go, then he cannot replace this time with gaming (which tbh, I think this is all that he wants to do). He then huffs a little and says he will go to cadets.

His dad is very keen for him to stay on at cadets and feels that it is good for him. I agree.

But I don't really know what I should be doing, should I make DS go?

He is very good for a teen, no bad behaviour, makes friends easily but he does have a habit of quitting things very easily (he used to do drama but then stopped going). He doesn't do any other sports or clubs, he would puting gaming above doing anything else. I do feel for him as it must be annoying to be made to do stuff by adults but I just want him to have other experiences wherever possible.

What should I do?

RedHelenB Wed 27-Feb-19 19:10:53

Apart from learning get to swim, hobbies have always been first my dc to choose. So no, I wouldn't force him to go.

crocsaretoocoolforschool Wed 27-Feb-19 19:13:43

Having been the adult in charge of a club that teens were 'encouraged' to attend long after they were interested, I'd say let him leave!

BlueJava Wed 27-Feb-19 19:13:46

I have had similar with my 2 DS sometimes with clubs (not cadets). I usually say, ok I'll consider what you say but you must go for X more months then we'll reconsider whether you like it or not. So maybe tell him you'll discuss it with him at the end of August or whenever the year is up - this gets you out the discussion every week.

needthisthread Wed 27-Feb-19 19:16:28

It isn't good for him if he doesn't want to be there. Just let him decide.

Catsandbootsandbootsandcats Wed 27-Feb-19 19:20:22

My oldest DS would have sat at home gaming every evening if I let him. He did Explorer Scouts and kept saying he wanted to leave. I told him he could. If he found another thing he could do at least once a week to get him out of the house. He didn't. He stayed till he was 18.

I figured if he really hated it he could have just refused completely, he was much taller and stronger than me, it wasn't like I could drag him there! But he didn't. And he absolutely loved the camps they did.

I would encourage him to stay.

JonSlow Wed 27-Feb-19 19:22:07

I think telling him he can’t replace the cadet time with gaming is fair. He can read or exercise instead.

StarEclipse Wed 27-Feb-19 19:23:32

Thank you for your responses. I think I would feel happier agreeing for him to leave the club if he complained every week (he goes twice a week).

But it is that he enjoys going for several weeks, then on a random night (particularly if his friends are gaming) he will say that it is boring him. So part of me thinks he just can't be bothered on that night for those reasons.

I agree that it isn't fair to force him, I might ask if he would agree to stick it out until the summer. At least that way, the activities would pick up due to the better weather and they usually do a camping trip, something he was looking forward to.

lotusbell Wed 27-Feb-19 19:24:50

My son is nearly 12 and has no real interests apart from.his bloody PS4. Having said that, he does love going to our local.park of an evening to kick a ball round or catching practice and rounders. He likes football but not enough to join a team etc. He used to do cubs but like your son, got bored with certain aspects of it. I tried to reason it was a great place and opportunity to do things like kayaking and ziplining but he got bored in the evenings they did things in the scout hut. In the end I let him leave as it was obvious he wasn't enjoying but I wish he'd stuck with it as I think they're a great idea. My nephews are in the air cadets and love all of it but are now at GCSE age and that is taking priority.

itsstillgood Wed 27-Feb-19 19:30:42

My reading of it is though you are not 'making' him go you are calling his bluff as to why he doesn't want to go, you say you can't game instead so he chooses to go.
If he was coming home saying I don't like it I don't want to go or commenting on the week between then ywbu to keep sending him.
What it sounds like to me is that he is a normal human being who enjoys the activity but occasionally for tiredness/laziness /got in to a game reasons thinks meh staying in is easier tonight. As adults we all drag ourselves out sometimes to things we know we'll enjoy really but damn that sofa looks good tonight. Teens are still in immediate gratification stage I think so need encouragement to do that dragging themselves out bit.

O4FS Wed 27-Feb-19 19:31:00

How old is he?

I try to string it out. ‘Give it another 6 weeks/let’s wait and see/let’s decide when you’ve achieved XYZ’ etc.

I found that teenagers will often go off something, get lazy or if their friends aren’t doing it lose interest. Often it’s just a dip and if you can keep him there through it, once out the other side he might stick with it.

Once it’s gone it’s very hard to get them interested again - or in anything for that matter. When they are 14/15/16 you really want them involved in an activity or there’s a lot of loitering and gaming and hiding away in bedrooms.

MuddlingMackem Wed 27-Feb-19 19:33:52

If he enjoys it once he's there I'd make him stick it out. I've read so many posts on here from women who chucked in hobbies when they were kids who say now they wish their parents had made them continue, that as long as it's something he's enjoying most of the time and is good for him don't let him quit. He'll thank you for it when he's older even if he doesn't appreciate it now.

Personally, I figure 16 is an age at which they can make a considered decision on whether or not they want to continue.

OKBobble Wed 27-Feb-19 19:37:17

When my son wanted to leave clubs we always asked him to stick it out until the end of term and if he still wanted to we would let him. He would carry on without murmur but did in fact leave at the agreed time.

Waveysnail Wed 27-Feb-19 19:51:13

But your not making him go. You just said he's not gaming instead so he could quit if he wanted. Perhaps type if cadets doesn't suit him. If he's army then try air cadets or sea cadets.

underneaththeash Wed 27-Feb-19 20:09:56

My 12 year (nearly 13) would do absolutely nothing if I let him. But the deal is; activity first and then gaming.....

He's considerably more pleasant if he doesn't spend all his time either reading or on the PC/ipad.

StarEclipse Wed 27-Feb-19 21:10:44

Thanks again for all your reassurance. He's not my only child but he is the eldest, so teen stuff is a learning curve. Especially learning to let him make his own choices.

He is 13 and in the air cadets. He never mentions quitting inbetween cadet nights, it is always in the last 10 minutes before he is due to go on the night. On the odd occassion when I have agreed that he didn't have to go (when we had bad snow etc.) he was pleased to have the night off and didn't mention quitting at all.

I also feel much more relaxed about his gaming when at home because he is out several hours a week at cadets being 'productive'.

I also was a 'quitter' as a teen! I quit dance, horse riding, violin and drama. I do regret it now

O4FS Thu 28-Feb-19 07:51:18

I don’t think he’s anywhere near giving up from what you’ve said. Just can’t be arsed to get out the door.

Sometimes we know what is best for them.

When it’s consistent kicking against it and you really can’t stretch it out any more then that’s the time. But if you can keep him there when he’s 15/16 it’ll be brilliant.

ishouldntsaybut Thu 28-Feb-19 10:35:15

My son is 14 and also attends air cadets. He moans that it's boring but seems happy when he has been. The biggest issue is that it's an effort -he has to come away from the computer, get his uniform sorted and go. I generally insist he goes but told him that since he is mature enough to make the decision he should leave, then he can tell the staff face to face and so far he's not left smile. I continue to reiterate the positives and the opportunities he has had or will be given.

Blobby10 Thu 28-Feb-19 11:08:12

I agree with the PP that you are calling his bluff! And very successfully too. If it was my child I would stick with what you're doing. grin

BlueSkiesLies Thu 28-Feb-19 11:10:14

So the only time he doesn't want to go, is when he has to ge out of the house on a cold evening when he is playing games?

Yeah... I'd make him go. Or he can quit cadets at the end of the term but he has to replace it with something else.

BlueSkiesLies Thu 28-Feb-19 11:11:13

Sometimes we all need a bit of encouragement to get our bums out the door - keep doing what you're doing.

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