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When to let them give up?

(14 Posts)
CeliaFate Mon 07-Mar-11 14:39:24

Ds goes to 3 after school activities - rugby, swimming and football. He has started complaining that he doesn't want to do rugby or football, saying it's boring, nobody passes the ball to him, he doesn't enjoy it etc. I've tried talking to him to help him understand that it's good for him to get exercise, see his friends, get invites to play with others afterwards etc. but he still moans. Then he's unco-operative and miserable and it's a stressful experience in the main. Is it worth it? Dh and I are keen for our dc to be more active and get outside more. They prefer going on the computer and watching tv.
WWYD? Should I make him keep going, let him have the odd week or 2 off, let him stop altogether?

CeliaFate Mon 07-Mar-11 14:39:41

He's 8 soon btw.

meditrina Mon 07-Mar-11 14:58:26

If he doesn't want to do it, then he doesn't, and trying to make him will be counterproductive. That said, I've never let mine give up anything on a whim, and I would keep them in for whatever period I'd paid for - typically to the end of the half term.

Forcing him to do sports he doesn't like won't encourage an active lifestyle - it'll seem a chore. Time for creative thinking to find something he does enjoy instead?

DandyDan Mon 14-Mar-11 11:16:44

It will depend on his personality, your personality, the length of time he's been doing the hobbies, the season of the year, the cost of the hobby, the number of friends who do the hobby etc.

Mine were not allowed to give up anything on a whim. If it was down to weather issues (not liking the cold/wet/mud) I would suggest they keep on until the spring-summer and then have a think, and if persistent, give up at the summer holidays. I would do this for Scouts/Cubs/Brownies/Guides too - sometimes a well-timed and interesting scout camp on a sunny weekend can inspire lsomeone to stick with the hobby a bit more. Staying whilst miserable is not a virtue though, and usually I would limit the endurance by the end of the school-term.

It would also depend if they were giving up hobbies - sport - and not doing any other sport - but your son would still be swimming, so he would still be pursuing a healthy hobby there.

If it were a learning hobby like dance or a musical instrument, sometimes getting to a certain stage can get them over the hump of it being hard. Once you are on the way to Grade 5 piano, for example, you can more easily play the scores to pop-songs or musicals, which means you can play for pleasure as well as for the piano-teacher. Also by then you understand the attractions and demands of the instrument without resenting it so much when you have to learn the actual practicalities of it.

Ask him if there is anything else he would be interested in. But there needn't be. A single activity can be enough.

jellybelly25 Mon 21-Mar-11 11:21:21

I would also say 'try it until x time' eg end of term, then if you still feel the same we'll stop. No point flogging a dead horse, plus, he can just try something else in its place and why not try lots of different things while he's still young? What sporty activities does he like? Is he more of a solitary person? Athletics clubs usually start at age 8 and are really varied and interesting, or martial arts?

FloreatEtonia Mon 21-Mar-11 13:07:39

Tell him he won't be going on the computer until the time he usually got to go on it on his sporting nights. He may well decide he likes the sport. DS tried this and I soon realised it was because he wanted to be at home on the pc!

BristolJim Tue 05-Apr-11 10:47:12

Try a one in, one out policy. If he wants to drop a sport, insist to takes up another one in its place. There's no point in carrying on at 8 if he's not enjoying it.

stripeytiger Tue 05-Apr-11 11:20:12

Hi Celia. I agree with what some of the other says here. TBH your ds is doing three physical activities - maybe he could drop either football or rugby and replace with something like cubs? My ds is also nearly 8 and I asked him if he would like to do rugby or football when he was about 6, he chose rugby and loves it but I'm not sure he would have coped with doing football as well. Apart from anything I find rugby is a big commitment, both from the child's point of view and the parent's with all the travelling to matches etc. I'm guessing your ds plays tag rugby at the moment and will be starting contact in September - do you think that may be worrying him? If the other team members pick up that he doesn't want to be there, perhaps that's why they don't pass to him - if not perhaps you could speak to the coaches and see what they think?

Sometimes children just don't like a particular sport or activity but as long as they give it a good try for a term or so then I think it's reasonable to let them stop. I do agree with you that it's good for kids to be active and get outside, but perhaps let him choose another activity, cub or scouts maybe or if you live near the coast what about sea cadets?

Hope some of this is helpful.

receiverofopiniongiver Wed 06-Apr-11 08:15:58

They have to do it for as long as is paid for - as someone else said normally until half term/end of term etc.

Certain things are non-negotiable to be honest where sport is concerned the only thing I'm strict on is swimming lessons have to be continued, until they can swim minimum 25m and are confident in deep water. But we live by the coast, so this is more life saving than pleasure.

My ds's did not enjoy rugby as due to the danger side of it, at this age there is coaching rather than football which is straight into games.

My dd's love being coached, and do lots of activities, but the boys don't want to be told, they just want to play.

I found my way that there is a Saturday morning football club that doesn't do coaching but does 3 games 30 minutes each. This they love, they go along they play football, no coaching and come home again.

2rebecca Mon 09-May-11 20:47:41

I agree with the as long as it's paid for group. Many activities are oversubscribed and people are supposed to enjoy their hobbies. I have never forced my kids to continue any events beyond the end of that term once they said they'd had enough. They usually have something else they want to replace it with though. I wouldn't let them stop to just sit on the computer, playing out with friends is OK though, plus as long as they have at least 2 hobbies I'm happy. I change my active hobbies quite alot and would hate someone to force me to do something once I'd become bored of it or decided I don't like the people there.

bigTillyMint Mon 09-May-11 20:55:49

You are right to want to encourage him to do something active. However, maybe the chosen sports are just not his "thing"? he may be with more competitive / able children, or just a group of friends who are not passing the ball to him which could be very frustrating for him. Maybe it's down to the people runing them? And if he's just not that into the sport.....

How long has he been doing them? If it's a term or more, then that is long enough to know if he really doesn't like it. Could you say that he can choose one to drop? Or has he been a couch potato up until now and its all a bit of a shock?!

Can you find other sports like running, cycling, rock climbing, etc?

ivykaty44 Mon 23-May-11 21:45:08

Your ds only mentions giving up the team sports - could it be he prefers none team sports and you could look for none team sports for him to enjoy rather than keep at the team sports outside of school.

Cross country, athletics, triathlon training, tennis, badmington are a few other suggestions

bitsyandbetty Thu 26-May-11 16:24:46

My DS (10) was the same with team sports. I let him give up as it just made his miserable. He does quite like cricket though so is just having coaching at holiday clubs. He also tried martial arts which he enjoyed until it got competitive but loves climbing and cycling so he cycles all the time and goes climbing whenever he can. This is something he is good at so prefers this type of thing. Not everybody is a team player but there are lots of other sports as mentioned above.

munstersmum Sun 29-May-11 15:39:13

Agree with Floreat DS started saying wanted to stay at home & go on the Nintendo. Nintendo is now a weekend & school hols only choice. Enthusiasm for sports restored smile

I would let him try other sports though. Cricket is a team sport but at that age coaches ensure everyone gets a go at everything.

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