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Aibu children don’t want to go anywhere

(52 Posts)
PumpkinP Thu 22-Aug-19 14:32:07

Does anyone else’s children not want to do anything ever?! I’m always reading on MN that people take their children out every day but mine don’t want to go out. They are 8,7 and 5 (also have a 2 year old but she doesn’t mind) I bought a lot of picnic food to go to the park with them today but none of them want to go. We’ve hardly done anything during the holiday. Aibu to wonder if any one else’s children are like this?

Duchessgummybuns Thu 22-Aug-19 14:34:46

Why don’t they want to go? Is it because they’d rather stay in on screens?

My DD and DSS can be like this for the above reason. Once they’ve been told screens aren’t an option they’re more enthusiastic about going and doing things outside the home.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Thu 22-Aug-19 14:35:51

Yes, what do they spend time doing instead?

Pinkblueberry Thu 22-Aug-19 14:38:33

My first thought is also screens OP - they are addictive and depending on what games they’re playing on them they will choose that over outdoor activities any day given the option.

pumkinspicetime Thu 22-Aug-19 14:38:47

If I don't ban screens my pair can be like this.

AmIThough Thu 22-Aug-19 14:39:14

Just tell them to get it the car because you're going out. You're the parent.

RoseMartha Thu 22-Aug-19 14:42:46

I dont know how you are putting it to them but tell them you are all going out instead of saying would you like to go out.

hairyturkey Thu 22-Aug-19 14:43:13

What are they doing instead?

Canuckduck Thu 22-Aug-19 14:43:26

Mine are like this sometimes and it’s not all screen related. We have done a lot over the school holidays though - big three week holiday abroad, sports camps, local trips to cinema etc. They love home where they can play with their pets, swim, play with their toys and yes go on screens! We’ve got a few bigger plans for next week being the end of the school holidays though!

Rockbird Thu 22-Aug-19 14:45:44

Mine are like this a lot of the time too. They just want to potter at home, play with their toys, draw etc. It's not all about screens, they're just home bodies.

Nautiloid Thu 22-Aug-19 14:48:09

I drag mine out, once they're away from screens they enjoy it.

HellsBills Thu 22-Aug-19 14:49:39

I have a 9yr old DD & 7 year old DS. The 7yr old loves being at home and never wants to go anywhere if asked, so I don't ask, just let him know what I've decided were doing eg "shoes on, we're off to such and such a place" He always loves it once he's out, I think it's just the thought of leaving whatever he's doing that puts him off.

NameChange84 Thu 22-Aug-19 14:50:28

My Siblings Kids were all like this at that age. Sibling always allowed the kids to dictate and they are now young adults who do nothing except slob around the house, stuffing their faces with junk food whilst glued to screens (phones and consoles). They are unmotivated and struggling with life.

What are the kids like if you say, “Well, my plans for us are that we are going to the park and that’s where we are going. I’m not taking no for an answer. Now, coats and shoes on, let’s get going.”?

When my parents or I were in charge of childcare and did this we found that DNs would just go whereas with siblings they’d whine and moan and cry because there was an option of not going.

These kids were taken to Disney World in Florida and refused to leave the hotel rooms, despite tickets being paid for. They’ve had numerous exotic holidays where they’ve not left the rooms. It’s really been awful.

NameChange84 Thu 22-Aug-19 14:51:22

Cross posted but this

He always loves it once he's out, I think it's just the thought of leaving whatever he's doing that puts him off.

Was exactly my experience of the DNs!

nothingsreallynewunderthesun Thu 22-Aug-19 14:52:40

That's young to be like that! My 12 and 14 year old sometimes don't want to but I do enforce some time out of the house each day - doesn't have to be a "family" activity, happy if they're ou doors with friends too.

I'm working shifts so might be home til 2pm some days or be out at work 5am to 2pm then home by 3pm or on nights. DH is home by 5pm mostly.

Generally screens are allowed when I'm at work but as soon as I'm home they're off.

I drag them to do something each day if they don't have plans with friends, or if I'm tired after nights but available at home in case of emergency I send them out for a bike ride together and they send me a selfie of wherever they get to grin

My youngest is 8 and always happy to do any activity though! The teen-ness hasn't set in younger than 11 with any of mine, and the older two still essentially do as they're told grin and often admit enjoying things they didn't want to do.

I don't demand they enjoy themselves or be grateful for outings though - I've told them it's normal not to want to join in with family stuff, to prefer their friends and to want to be nocturnal and screen addicted but that it's my job to keep them healthy and well adjusted and drag them/ push them out into the sunlight grin They seem to appreciate this and I think it's one reason they're fairly compliant even if initially grumpy.

PumpkinP Thu 22-Aug-19 14:55:05

No not on screens, they just don’t seem to like going to the park anymore or after being out for a short amount of time within an hour they are asking to go home!

PumpkinP Thu 22-Aug-19 14:56:16

That’s what I’m thinking. I thought it was teens that never wanted to go anywhere. We have a local splash park and they think have to be dragged there.

Pinkblueberry Thu 22-Aug-19 14:57:01

But what are they doing at home then?

PumpkinP Thu 22-Aug-19 15:02:38

Sitting on the sofa or playing with a bouncy ball, chasing each other around, the tv is on but horse racing is on I think (I’m not watching it and I doubt they are either)

SuzieQ10 Thu 22-Aug-19 15:04:15

What do they spend their time doing at home?
What sort of things do you do when you all go out / where do you take them?

PumpkinP Thu 22-Aug-19 15:06:13

Parks mainly we are lucky to live near a lot of nice park (two being splash parks) soft play, museum but they don’t like going anywhere to far so tend to stay in the local area. Like I said they seem to get fed up within about an hour an ask to go home. Maybe it’s because it’s the summer holidays then maybe they’ve had enough confused

MinisterforCheekyFuckery Thu 22-Aug-19 15:07:02

DD (5) has been a bit reluctant to go out this week but I think that's because we peaked too early! She was tired by the end of term anyway (just finished her Reception year) and we went on quite an active holiday for a week the day after she broke up from school. Then we did a few day trips, a theme park, some playdates, lots of swimming, visiting family and trips to different parks etc. I think she's just tired and is enjoying some downtime. We're off out to the park in a minute but she's spent most of today so far playing with her Barbie's, on her trampoline or doing chalk drawings on the patio outside and seems perfectly happy.

nothingsreallynewunderthesun Thu 22-Aug-19 15:07:32

PumpkinP are they a bit over scheduled and just tired?

Are they used to being entertained by adults in term time (adult led after school activities every day) and have forgotten how to play, without adult led structure?

Mine used to need to break through the "I'm bored" line sometimes at that age - the way to deal with it is provide long and moderately unattractive activities as the only alternative to entertaining themselves, and it works just as well at the park. "We're here for 3 hours, you can play, or you can do X" (invent activity - I actually discovered when doing this once that my youngest loves doing push ups and sit ups and my middle one likes running laps - oh well, win either way grin )

At those ages sometimes an easy low-structre activity is worth providing to get them started "You've got half an hour to collect as many different yellow things/ flowers / leaves/ things beginning with p as possible - they have to fit into this little tub, whoever collects the most gets sprinkles on their ice-cream...

What about inviting their friends over instead some days?

I don't think it's essential to go somewhere if you have a reasonably big garden and they're not on screens. As long as they're outdoors for a few hours and moving around actively. If you don't have a garden I'd keep dragging them out to the park though!

nothingsreallynewunderthesun Thu 22-Aug-19 15:10:07

Take a ball to the park if they like bouncy balls. My youngest isn't into ball games but at 6 and 8 my older two could play with a football for four solid hours... Or cheap tennis / badminton sets.

viques Thu 22-Aug-19 15:10:12

They could play with a ball, chase each other and sit in the park.

And you would save electricity by switching off the tv that no one is actually watching.

Tell them they have got five minutes to have a wee and find their shoes because you are all going out.

Chirico Thu 22-Aug-19 15:13:15

Mine doesn't get a choice. He gets plenty of time to potter and a (rationed) amount of screen time daily, but he also needs exercise and fresh air, which isn't optional to my mind.

I have a friend of whom I am very fond, but his homelife seems to consist entirely of him on his computer in his study, his wife at her obsessive craft hobby in another room, and their two sons, 10 and 12, playing computer games downstairs. They never go anywhere at weekends, the children only leave the house to go to school bar the very occasonal playdate, get no physical exercise outside of school PE, and their holiday this year consisted of them lying all about in an apartment in another country, all apparently wishing they were back at home so they could get on with their usual stuff.

Horses for courses you might say -- and I get that some people are homebodies and creatures of habit by preference. It's just that my friend and his wife (healthy, late 40s and early 50s) seem to regard doing anything outside of the house as being a terrible faff and a major effort, and there's a lot of sighing and exclamations of exhaustion and relief at surviving a brief shopping expedition to the shops in a nearby city or IKEA as if they're just finished the Paris-Dhakar rally.

And the children are absorbing this as normal, that you only leave the house if you really have to, for work or school, and any brush with the outside world is to be minimised and greeted with a 'Whew! Survived!' sort of attitude, even if you've only gone to the supermarket to buy frozen peas.

This is an extreme example, but I think a certain amount of physical activity etc is a good habit to form.

bigKiteFlying Thu 22-Aug-19 15:15:55

I took mine out a lot when young to stay sane so I think it's more their normal.

I've also had to book things and once that's done they are going - whether it was free or not.

I also tend to do things in the morning so they have the afternoons and evenings for just playing and it might be for just an hour activity but by time they have walked there and back it can be couple of hours.

The 14 year old often doens't want to go out now - but then there are out with their freinds and that is partly screens. Sometimes we'll just insist other times let her be.

Pinkblueberry Thu 22-Aug-19 15:16:27

It is a bit strange. A bouncy ball and chasing each other indoors where there isn’t really space to run wouldn’t keep my DCs occupied for long - and would drive me mental. If they’re that easily entertained surely a trip to the park with a football would be wildly exciting? If not, I have no advice. You have stumped me OP.

Daylily34 Thu 22-Aug-19 15:19:24

Mine doesn’t want to go out today - football in the garden , board games and making cookies .. oh and a small amount of screen time

Other days this week we’ve been out - obviously tired this morning so I didn’t push it

Toneitdown Thu 22-Aug-19 15:34:42

Maybe it’s because it’s the summer holidays then maybe they’ve had enough

Could be this. I remember travelling the world with DH when we were younger. It was spectacular and I have so many good memories of the trip. However by the time we'd gotten into month 6 I was a bit fed up and stopped appreciating all the genuinely amazing things we were seeing. I was just burnt out and wanted to laze around the house in my PJs watching Netflix and playing with cat. Sounds spoilt, I know, but I think some people do have an emotional limit on the amount of stuff they can take in over a certain period of time. We need to recharge our batteries at home.

CassianAndor Thu 22-Aug-19 15:36:46

I'd turn the TV off for a start.

But they sound like they enjoy each others company so an hour in the park is fine.

Picklypickles Thu 22-Aug-19 15:42:41

I have a 7 and a 5yr old, the 5yr old is currently making life very difficult due to his terror at all living creatures. He's been stung by wasps twice this year and its left him traumatized, I've just taken him to my mums house and he was freaking out about flies and wanting to come back home immediately. I do drag him out but he often makes things really difficult, he's scared of dogs and ponies and pretty much anything that breathes. My 7yr old loves getting out and about as often as possible and I would rather have them out using up their energy as much as possible but really struggling with it this summer!

MsTSwift Thu 22-Aug-19 15:47:04

Mine were like this. All these jolly mothers saying how they had to get their kids out like dogs etc mine just weren’t like that. They preferred playing at home or in the garden / doing craft / reading. No screens so wasn’t that.

Areyoufree Thu 22-Aug-19 15:50:28

Yup, I've got one of those too. My five year old hates to leave the house, most of the time. And when we get to the park, he often wants to go home again. Not screens either - I can ban all technology, and he will happily play for hours on his own, with lego or super-hero figures. Just prefers to be inside!

AcrossthePond55 Thu 22-Aug-19 15:59:22

Start by turning off the TV.

If they're doing a good deal of active-type play (playing catch, kicking a ball around the garden, playing chase or tag, playing in the sprinklers) then I think 'getting out' isn't such a big deal. It's being active that's important, not where they're being active. But I'm not talking 10 minutes here and there (although that's better than nothing). I mean that they're out doing sustained activity for 30-60 or more minutes at a stretch at least once a day.

DS1 was always wanting to get out & about, DS2 was much more my 'stay at home'. We had a large outdoor pedestrian mall (US) nearby that also had a small play area that was a good compromise. Fresh air and both of them enjoyed the window shopping.

threecatsownme Thu 22-Aug-19 16:03:14

Mine are the same but it's only because they want to be playing out with their friends on bikes/scooter etc

We took them to a local (ish) abbey with beautiful grounds etc for a picnic and they both couldn't wait to get home to play out 🙄.

They only have iPad/switch etc after tea before baths for an hour or so then reading before bed.

BrunettesDoItBetter Thu 22-Aug-19 16:07:20

I dont drive so dont have access to a car in the week.I try and get ds 5 as much as possible to break up the day,sometimes we go out for a few hours with my parents or we take the dog for a long walk whether he wants to or not.Yesterday we walked 2 miles,he was whinging the whole time but I just distracted him as much as I could.Im the parent and if i want to go out then we go out! gin

ooooohbetty Thu 22-Aug-19 16:14:15

Mine were like this sometimes. I always took them out on trips a few times a week. The other days they played outside in street with friends, played inside or we went to the cinema. I'd drive quite far to country parks or coastal walks. The drive filled up some of the time. Sometimes I took them to museums or galleries. They did complain sometimes but they had no choice, that's what we did. This went on until they were about 14.

XXcstatic Thu 22-Aug-19 16:16:15

Turn the telly off. But, as long as they are active, I can't see that it matters whether they are chasing a ball at home or in the park. I don't think most 7 and 8 year olds are bothered about the park, if they are lucky enough to have enough space at home for ball games.

FrenchJunebug Thu 22-Aug-19 16:18:48

My son is 8 and I don't give him the choice whether he wants to do things or not, otherwise he will be forever in front of Netflix. Why do you give your kids so much power on what they can and cannot do?

ElleDubloo Thu 22-Aug-19 16:19:28

My kids are quite homely. Sometimes they just want to stay at home, potter about with their tea sets and draw. I think it’s fine. (They don’t get screens or TV)

SolsticeBabyMaybe Thu 22-Aug-19 16:23:49

YES! If 6 yo had her way we would have spent the entire holiday in the living room, her on her tablet. I'm not averse to letting her relax, but too much sitting about definitely makes her stroppy! We've had to tempt her into activities as she needs to burn of energy for all of our sakes!

noeyedeer Thu 22-Aug-19 16:35:02

My eldest (8) can be like this. He doesn't want to go out, but enjoys it once he's doing something and often then doesn't want to come home. He doesn't often get the choice of going out or not, and he definitely likes his screen time. But, he ADHD and works so hard to "behave" in school that by the time the holidays roll around he's knackered. Sometimes he just needs time to unwind.

DisgruntledGuineaPig Thu 22-Aug-19 16:55:07

I wouldn't give them a choice, but also at this stage of the holidays, going to the park and playing with your siblings again does seem boring. I've learned from previous years, this week and next week needs to be full of playdates. Even if it's meeting at the same park, it's with a friend for each.

It's also worth holding back some different places /things to do for this point in the holidays.

pipnchops Thu 22-Aug-19 16:56:47

Mine are way younger, 2 and 4, but definitely enjoy days at home the most. They love playing together and with me, they love the garden which is large and lots for them to do like sand pit, trampoline, swing etc. They have a bit of screen time when I need to get on with something. They are comfortable in their home surroundings and I actually like this about them and am glad they don't need constant day trips and stimulation as that would be exhausting and expensive. However for my own sanity as a SAHM I need to get out of the house sometimes and I don't give them the choice. They are often reluctant and don't want to stay out for long, it's hard work but I'd go crazy at home all the time.

drowningincustard Thu 22-Aug-19 16:58:32

mine can be like this - we allow relax at home days just pottering but will enforce days out as well so they get a good mix of activities...

1forAll74 Thu 22-Aug-19 17:05:35

It's strange isn't it, and you have probably heard all this before, but in the oldie days,kids played out all day in the school holidays,, in the streets,in the woods and fields and in my case,down by the canal, and watching trains go by etc..

I know things have moved on now, and screens and gadgets are a big thing, but also,it's maybe the safety factor of children going out that is a real problem for some parents and children.

Stapelberg Thu 22-Aug-19 18:10:50

Definitely agree w a precious poster, you're the parent! Tell them to get shoes on, and get in the car (or on their bikes or scooters, even better!)

CharityConundrum Thu 22-Aug-19 18:13:43

Mine hate transitions - they want to go out and do fun stuff, but find the process of getting ready exhaustingly dull and end up complaining! It's not too bad if we're not in any hurry, but if we are just getting up, having breakfast and going out you'd think they were being tortured to hear them complain about the idea of both finding AND putting on their shoes!

PumpkinP Thu 22-Aug-19 19:08:29

Well we went in the end and have only just got back, typical they liked it in the end and was moaning when we had to come home! CharityConundrum I think it’s true what you said about the transition and actually being bothered to get ready and go out.

RoseMartha Thu 22-Aug-19 19:29:36

Glad you went out and they enjoyed it . Well done

Steerpike902 Thu 22-Aug-19 20:43:42

I think it's okay if they're not just watching TV or playing games all day long. But have you tried asking them what they'd like to do in advanced? We started doing family meetings once every couple of weeks just after dinner and it's really helped them communicate with us.

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