6 Year old wont try at anything - Any suggestions?

(9 Posts)
GammaGod Tue 08-Mar-16 14:28:56

Hi all

Any advice on the following would be much appreciated.

My DS is 6 (and a half) and doesn't try at anything. In almost all cases he knows what he should be doing but simply doesn't try and lets his mind wander.

He is competitive and always wants to win so that isn't an issue, but its almost like he doesn't realise that to win you have try hard and do your best. For him its appears that he expects to win simply for just being there rather than actually doing the activity well.

For example he plays U7's rugby and just wanders around the pitch unaware of what's going on around him. Its not that he isn't capable - he's quite quick (when he actually runs), big enough to not be intimidated, and can catch and pass the ball well - it's that he appears not to understand why he is there. Every other child seems to understand that you have to focus on the game, keep up with play and run, but my DS seems to be in a world of his own.

Unfortunately this extends well beyond sport. He did a number of 7+ exams recently and showed the same lack of concentration and application.

He's reasonably bright and when we sat with him to practice with constant reminders to concentrate on the task in hand he did well.

However in the actual exams he performed a lot worse than he should and speaking to him afterwards it was because he didn't focus on what he was doing and didn't apply himself.

This applies to most things he does, whether its schoolwork, reading, playing board games etc and so isn't confined to just one area. Even when he's brushing his teeth within 5 seconds he's distracted by something else rather than simply getting the job done.

It is mystifying to us as we're both people who focus and always apply ourselves and concentrate whatever we are doing.

There's no suggestion that any kind of diagnosis is needed. He's very well behaved and has no other issues. It's just that some advice on how to get him to understand the need to focus, apply himself and try his hardest would be much appreciated if anyone else has come across the same thing.

Many thanks.

MattDillonsPants Wed 09-Mar-16 04:18:51

He's 6 and whilst some 6 year olds are able to concentrate and follow rules or write for extended periods of time, other simply aren't.

I would withdraw him from the rugby...I was made to play team sports from a young age and I couldn't get my head around the rules at all. I used to have dread over it...not knowing where I was meant to be or what I was meant to do.

icklekid Wed 09-Mar-16 04:32:11

I think all you can do is work with him to build his concentration up. Playing board games and memory games are good for this. Start with small targets and build up gradually (eg. Play for 3 mins, 5 mins, 10mins). Use a timer to help focus on homework and work tasks to see if he can beat the clock and lots of positive praise. How is his reading? Speak to school so you work together to support him but he will probably mature and find things naturally 'click' over next year

Scone1nSixtySeconds Wed 09-Mar-16 07:37:12

Hmm. I came on to tell you that my DD was the same at that age but actually in her case it was that she would rather fail than try and get it wrong. We've managed to solve that now.

However, your ds sounds more like he doesn't actually 'care' if he wins - perhaps it just isn't very important to him? I was really good at tennis growing up - but I didn't really enjoy it and didn't apply myself. I wonder if your ds actually likes playing rugby?

Similarly with the tests, he is very young to be judged and found wanting.

It's hard, but our children are not us any more than we are our parents. Their minds are their own, and we can cajole or enthuse or demonstrate or reprimand but we cannot definitively alter them.

KingLooieCatz Wed 09-Mar-16 12:44:18

6 is young for this stuff. Some get it, some don't.

Mine's a bit like that. He has bags of energy that needs to be expended somehow. I took him to a kids park run and he went backwards. If he saw someone he wanted to chat to he would turn around and run back the way he came to have a gossip. He was 6 I think at the time. He is just not ready for team sports. He has got good at board games now though.

Don't despair - he might grow out of it and he might find his "thing".

DS does drama now, it's been great for him. It was a bit amazing to watch him do what he was meant to be doing for a full hour in the wee show without anyone reminding him or physically moving him into the required position on stage. That would not have seemed possible a year ago.

Skiptonlass Thu 10-Mar-16 08:32:43

Praise for effort not outcome. It's easy to get into a rut of not trying if you think you'll fail.

So no "clever boy!" And plenty of "wow you worked really hard at that!"

You could also try going a series of slightly more challenging activities where you can cheerleader with the "yes it's tough eh? Let's keep trying and see if we can do it " followed by more "you worked really hard today and didn't give up, that's great!"

There's a book called "bounce" by Matthew syed which is about practice and effort which is worth a read.

Skiptonlass Thu 10-Mar-16 08:33:34

Sorry for typos! Wrestling a wriggly small person here

GammaGod Mon 14-Mar-16 16:06:56

Thanks all for the advice. Onwards and upwards and we'll see how we get on.

MyFavouriteClintonisGeorge Mon 14-Mar-16 16:10:31

Have you considered ADHD-inattentive type?

That's what I have and what you wrote about your son describes me pretty well. I was never diagnosed at school because I was well-behaved and clever enough to pass exams.

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