4 year old always deciding he doesn't want to do something at last minute

(2 Posts)
Hobbes39 Sun 12-Aug-18 23:28:35

Hi - I need some help as I'm at the end of my tether with what is best to do and my husband is pretty useless in helping hmm...
My 4 (almost 5) year old DS has this habit of being really enthusiastic about something but then changing his mind at the last minute about doing it and suddenly saying he doesn't want to but not giving me a reason why.

For example - desperate to do a sports class - so I think great, sign him up to do one, he is then reluctant to go each week, pretty much the only one who is clingy when I drop him off, (I don't stay) but then happy as Larry when I collect him and full of beans telling me all about it... but then the same thing happens the following week, making it all a bit painful.

With another class he has just done a summer intensive week in something he LOVES and we've been doing a while, but he's never had lesson in. Thought all was well as he was a bit clingy but ok the first day (I stay and watch, he can see me if he wants to). He has a big grin on his face throughout and does really well and so thought it went well. Following day though "I don't want to go" etc. No reason. I told him that I saw that he loved it yesterday and that I'd never make him do something I don't think he would enjoy, but I'm going to make him do this as I know he will love it. He's needs peeled off me. BUT within 3 mins he's getting stuck in smiling away, having a great time. Says to me afterwards that "you were right mummy, I really enjoyed it" thought we'd cracked it... felt so happy that he could see that I want being mean making him stay.
Rest of the week goes well! Ask him the last couple of days if he'd like to sign up to the weekly class, he's enthusiastic. I double check a few times and make sure he knows what all it will entail and he's still keen. So I sign him up for a term and pay the money. He then tells me 2 days later that he doesn't want to do the class.
No reason he's just decided he doesn't. Gets tearful if I even mention it. Despite telling his friends about all he learned in the intensive class...

He is a sometimes anxious boy, and he's very sweet and cuddly, and I love him to bits, but this is driving me mad.

If I listen to him and cancel things he will do absolutely nothing. This happens with everything, and I need a coping strategy. He will miss out on things I can see with my own eyes that he hugely enjoys (and is also quite good at, so is not through an insecurity about not being good at it).

Anyone else have a child like this and any strategies for dealing with it. I really don't want to give up on him doing things, but then don't want to feel like a horrible parent forcing my shield to do something they are anxious about. I have tried asking what is worrying him, but he doesn't elaborate. I don't know if he just can't quite explain what is bothering him or if he doesn't really know. Or if he's just being contrary?! Help! Thanks x

OP’s posts: |
Honeypickle Tue 04-Sep-18 15:20:45

Hello! Just come across this, so not sure if you will see my reply, but just in case . . . My girls are like this - incredibly enthusiastic at first, then not wanting to go, me making them, them loving it, then the whole cycle starting again. They are 7 and 5 so obviously a bit easier to reason with. I obviously tried to find out first if there was a genuine reason for not wanting to go, but it became clear there was no real reason other than nerves (a week's gap between each class can seem long to them) or being a bit lazy (!). So I just said to them "well, that's absolutely fine, you don't have to go next term, but I've paid for this one now, so you just have to go until the end". Then when it came to renewal, I reminded them that I had to pay and it would cost me a lot of money (!), so did they want to go, were they sure, and if so, that's another commitment to the end of the next term.
I appreciate your DS is a fair bit younger so this may not work. Also, if he does give up extra-curricular activities at 4, it's not really a big deal - lots of opportunities in the future to start again when he's feeling more confident. perhaps just stop them for now (he really won't be missing out long term) and start them again gradually once he's more established at school and can do school clubs with his friends.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in