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Anyone else's child who doesn't do anything extra-curricular

(79 Posts)
zebra Mon 03-Jan-05 21:15:11

All this talk of piano lessons, violin lessons, drama, whatever, is getting me down. DS is 5, DD 3 -- & they don't do anything. Most the other children in DS's reception class do swimming, dance, or some sort of tuition out of school (and it really isn't a posh school, either!).

I tried DD at dance lessons 4 months ago & she wouldn't coooperate. Took DD & DS to trampolening Saturday am for a few weeks in September, but they usually don't want to go nowadays. Am toying with suggesting piano lessons, but am apprehensive. I have this horrible anxiety my kids are falling behind their peer group or we should be trying to encourage them to develop talents, but then they won't cooperate & it's a big effort for us anyway (with a baby to drag along, too).

Does anyone else have a child who doesn't/won't do anything extra-curricular at age 5? Did they get intrested in activities outside school as they go older? Or does it not really matter?

How do you decide, out of all the options, what to try taking them to, anyway?

Discoinferno Mon 03-Jan-05 21:17:46

My 5 year old has tried swimming, dancing and art classes and has refused after about 3 lessons each time to go back. So I have decided am going to wait until next September to let her try again. I don't think she is falling behind in anything and she will have an interest sooner and later. Iam prpared to wait.

misdee Mon 03-Jan-05 21:17:58

dd1 is almost 5. tried her with dance lessons last year but refused to join in. so that went out the window. ATm she doesnt do any extra activities either.

onlyjoking Mon 03-Jan-05 21:20:32

this is always a problem for us, my twin girls are now 10 they have autism and go to a special needs school over the years we have tried every club going but none of them are suitable/ able to meet their needs they go to a sports club at there own school once a week but that is all, my son also has autism and is in mainstream all of his classmates seem to do after school stuff but sadly they never seem geared up for autism, so much for inclusion.

iota Mon 03-Jan-05 21:21:11

So far my 5 yr old has dropped out of gymnastics (followed on from pre-school tumbletots-style class)and football at school. I only put him in for these as he has so much energy, but seeing as he didn't want to do them we dropped them.

I do make him go to swimming lessons though, as believe that it's a necessary skill - don't want him drowning.

roisin Mon 03-Jan-05 21:21:20

DS2 is 5.5 and doesn't do anything after school, he's just too tired after a long day. He does have swimming lessons at the weekend, but nothing else.

School days are busy enough, they need some time to chill and just play and be kids.

codswallop Mon 03-Jan-05 21:21:51

no dont push them!
after all most o us did extra curricular stiff and then never took ut he hobby again


t jhe only thing that is non neg is swimming and ds1 only has the stamina for anything else this year he is year 2

codswallop Mon 03-Jan-05 21:22:24

yes thats why a lot of schools only have after school stuff f ro Juniors

JanH Mon 03-Jan-05 21:24:38

My kids did nothing at 5 and 3, zeb.

JanH Mon 03-Jan-05 21:25:33

swimming club won't take them before 6 and they have to have reached level 6 in the national certificates.

tigermoth Mon 03-Jan-05 21:25:47

My 5 year old goes to nothing yet, Zebra. I think he gets enough stimulation at school. I will start swimming lessons soon and he will join his local scout group as a Beavers when he's 6. This will give him a taste of lots of different sports/creative/social activities so IMO is a good all rounder activity to add.

As I work, I find taking my sons to classes after school is very stressful for us all. I am careful to limit it. I find holiday courses are far easier to incorporate - summer football coaching, that sort of thing.

OK, I do feel sometimes that I am letting ds lag behind as I sit through a parents assembly and witness half his year 1 class get certificates for their extra curricular swimmming, judo, dance, music achievements, but there you go. I just don't want the rush and the stress of it all. It can wait till he is older.

codswallop Mon 03-Jan-05 21:27:02

bevers is fab

jellyhead Mon 03-Jan-05 21:28:20

Zebra my ds1 is 5 and the only thing he does is swimming with me on Sunday mornings if I can get us all organised. He did football for 3 weeks then refused to go again so I thought I would wait until he was older and perhaps try a martial arts class.
My dd is 3 and goes to ballet which she loves but with starting pm nursery this week I am not sure if I will be able to get her to lessons on time.
I have a nephew and niece who do everything dance, horse riding, piano lessons, brownies, swimming etc etc and they both look exhausted with it.
I think it depends on your individual child and if they want to do something I am sure they will let you know. Don't worry about it I still feel sick of the thought when my mother forced me to do ballet and I jumped about like a drunk elephant until the teacher begged my mum to find another activity!!
I have a baby to and refuse to drag them all round to activities they don't want to do so I will wait for them to show an interest first.

roisin Mon 03-Jan-05 21:30:02

Tigermoth - don't mention Beavers ... aarrrggghhh! DS1 has two more terms - if I let him go. I'm hoping ds2 won't want to go

jinglebelljodee Mon 03-Jan-05 21:30:04

ds is 4.75 and does nothing at the moment, but I agree with Coddy about the swimming (funnily enough he and I were talking about it this afternoon, he is adamant he does NOT want to have lessons!). But living near the sea I think it is essential.

codswallop Mon 03-Jan-05 21:30:57

yes I dont let them have an opinion about that
told ds1 to get his act together about front stroke today or we couldnt go to france

Slinky Mon 03-Jan-05 21:33:00

My 5yo does swimming (compulsory in our house) and started going to Rainbows in October - and that's it! My 7yo only does Football and swimming (occasionally does "After-school clubs" ie Art/PE etc).

Swimming is the only thing that I've really pushed them into as I class it to be essential. DS1 nagged and nagged to go to Beavers - put his name, got a place and he went for a while but absolutely HATED it!

Slinky Mon 03-Jan-05 21:34:29

LOL Coddy!

I used similar arguments with DS1 - he wouldn't be allowed to go on the slides in France. When we went to Centerparcs the other week, I took him down the "Rapids" and he was absolutely thrilled!!

I said "see, my nagging about swimming is so you can do stuff like this!!!"

WideWebWitch Mon 03-Jan-05 23:25:30

Mine doesn't do any organised activities either zebra! He's 7 and never has much. Except he does play football in the park, come for walks with us, talk to us, play with his baby sister, play football (soft ball) in the house, play Playstation (ahem), have stories read to him, draw pictures and practice writing, watch his fish, have friends over for tea, go swimming with friends, goes to London every other weekend, goes to the cinema. I think all that's quite enough tbh! Blimey, when we were kids we used to let ourselves into the house at 3.40 (latchkey kids we were called in the 70s!), make a mound of toast and mess about on our own until our mother got in from work at 5.30pm. Now will read everyone else's response. If ds wanted to do any of the activities on offer I'd certainly let him but he doesn't, which is 100% fine with me.

babster Mon 03-Jan-05 23:35:33

Dd1 used to do ballet last year, but has (thankfully) dropped it now. It was hell to get her there on time, and then she used to muck about doing her own thing... much as I did at the same age, as my mother reminded me. So now we don't do anything structured and our Mondays are much happier for it ;) 5 is so young and the school day is long for such little ones - if they'd rather potter around at home after school, who can blame them?

tigermoth Tue 04-Jan-05 07:43:44

roisin, do I sense you shudder at the thought of Beaver scouts

Could it be the Beaver leadership is partly to blame, I wonder? I am talking about cubs here, but sort of the same thing applies to Beavers, I'm sure. I nearly made my son leave after his cub leader excluded him from several activities and got upset by his larky behaviour. It all seemed too much hassle and I felt guilty about putting the volunteer adults under stress. Every time I picked my son up there was another tale of woe from my son or the leader or both. My son thought the leader was being unfair to him, or he had had fisticuffs with another boy etc. And it was not just ds1 - there were often boys in tears for one reason or another at pick up time.

However, a change of leader saw great improvement. The whole troupe seemed happier and calmer. All the parents I talked to noticed it. The previous leader, a man in his early twenties, was very hard working and well meaning, but also very inexperienced and seemed to take things to heart. The new leader, a mother of 4, very used to doing stuff for the school, seemed to knew far more about little boys. I know all leaders get trained, but they are not professionals, and IME the quality of leadership can make a big difference to the troup.

kinderbob Tue 04-Jan-05 07:56:06

Zebra, calm down. My comments on the piano teaching thread were aimed at people whose children have nagged them to death about getting lessons. More or less all of my students have begged their parents for music lessons before they come to me. I have one pupil who is really there because his parents feel he should do something musical and you really can tell. I sometimes feel as if I am wasting their money.

If they become fascinated with something then pursue it for as long as they are interested and then do something else. My son goes to a pre school music class but only because he absolutely loves it and the teacher and asks to go. If he really lost interest I would stop taking him once the term I had paid for was up.

He was fascinated with helicopters last month and we went out to a helicopter place (don't know the technical term) got every book out of the library on helicopters, bought a model one etc. Now he is not bothered about them at all, so we are on to the next thing.

I say take advantage of being flexible. Who wants every day to be tied down to an activity. Go with what your kids enjoy and mention, and if that turns into something then great.

clary Tue 04-Jan-05 08:04:26

agree with coddy et al that swimming lessons are non-negotiable.
otherwise ds1 does a dance/movement class on a saturday that he seems to enjoy. No football as he is not at all interested so what's the point?

tigermoth Tue 04-Jan-05 08:18:32

I wish I'm made swimming lessons more non negotiable. My 10 year old son is a weak and very reluctant swimmer. He can swim 50 metures just about, but won't go out of his depth, and really is not yet safe in the water. He had lessons on and off from age 7 - 9 but hated them, so we stopped. He isn't at all keen on 'proper' swimming le when we go to the pool. Things are also complicated by the fact that he has a grommit and is prone to ear infections, and says the water really affects his bad ear.

If I send him back to lessons I suspect the other chidren at his level will be much younger, so ds1 will be even more reluctant to go. I am crossing my fingers that his secondary school provide some swimming lessons, but I doubt it.

roisin Tue 04-Jan-05 09:26:53

Tigermoth - yes I shudder at Beavers. Yes, it's definitely to do with the quality of leadership.

Unfortunately we have some 'politics' here, which mean that it would be hard to withdraw him, and virtually impossible to move him to another group.

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