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Only child and outside of school activites

(7 Posts)
worzil Mon 14-Sep-09 10:10:17

My ds is 7 and an only.
Until now I have not really got him involved in too much because he bores of things too easily and it can get very difficult with him.
I have recently started to think that I should be making him get involved in stuff whether it be cubs, karate, football.
What I do find with ds is that he can be very wary of meeting new people and I think he finds this difficult.
I have started to worry about whether this is becasue he is an only and that maybe if he had a sibling to along with and do these things with then he wouldn,t be like this.
I know this is a one child forum but was just wondering if anyone has any experience of this as to whether this is how only children are and as to whether children with siblings available to do these things with are any different.
I am worried that I have turned ds into a lonely shy child.
Also do I force ds into things despite his pleading with me as generally he usually gets over the shy stage but still gets to the stage of not wanting to go.
I am also up against opposition from my dp who thinks I shouldn,t make ds do stuff if he doesn,t want to,
However I don,t want ds sitting at home playing wii games etc without ever socialising and to not turn out shy and introverted.

TheFoosa Mon 14-Sep-09 10:17:47

hello worzil

I don't believe that there is an only-type of child

I have met many only children, some have been unbelievably confident and others like my dd are a little more wary , but she is fine with her peers

I am eldest of 4 and growing up was the shyest and most introverted child ever

As for after-school activities, if he is interested in something then why not, but if he is happy as he is then don't worry about it

He is still a young child and will have plenty of time for all sorts of activities, especially at secondary school

GrapefruitMoon Mon 14-Sep-09 10:17:52

I have 3 dcs but the middle one is not very sociable (in comparison to his siblings).... also we don't live close to his school, children around here don't play on the street and so on...

How is your ds at school, does he have friends around for tea, etc? Do you want him to make other friends apart from his classmates or do you just want to build on the school friendships?

What sort of things is he interested in?

Even if he had a sibling he would still have to learn to do things on his own - most activities are age-graded so unless he had a twin he would be in a different class! Does he have a friend he could go to an activity with?

Beavers/cubs are good as they do a variety of activities and may get to know children from different schools.

thirtypence Mon 14-Sep-09 10:18:26

Ds is slightly younger than your ds. He would go along to anything and talk to anyone. So firstly I don't think it's an only child thing and I don't think it's anything you have done either.

I've seen lots of siblings dragged along to things their older brother or sister is into and it's painful to watch. At least if your ds isn't into something you can cut your losses without upsetting anyone.

Does your dp have lots of hobbies and interests - or does he stay at home with his wii (just guessing here).

I think at 7 it would get good if he does lots of stuff with the two of you. Presumably he's at school and plays with children his own age there.

rookiemater Mon 14-Sep-09 10:22:52

What do the teachers say on parents evenings about him ?

It does sound like your strategy of forcing him to do things isn't working particularly well.
Maybe he needs to find a local friend rather than join structured activities. I was an only and more interested in books than playing with others, but enjoyed playing with other children in a one to one situation rather than in groups.

Also, and I don't have a 7 year old yet so feel free to ignore my advice, would a good start be to ration his wii time so then he will be more open to doing other things.

Takver Mon 14-Sep-09 10:50:04

I don't think it is an only child thing - I have a 7 yo only, and she is very much the opposite, she likes structured activities (so long as it is something that she is interested in of course), she'd happily go to riding/swimming/ballet every day if I would let her.
Maybe like others have suggested your ds doesn't like such organised things (something I would have a lot of sympathy with given that presumably he has a whole day of structured activity at school) and he's happier having free time to choose his own activities.
Is there somewhere you can hang out together like a playpark or similar where there's likely to be other children he knows from school? Maybe that would give him a chance to find people to play with without feeling that its being 'imposed' on him?
I'd agree with Foosa, I know about 8 only children in the 6-9 y/o age range, and they are as varied in personality as all the other children I know that age.

Adryath Mon 14-Sep-09 21:21:23

There is no "only-child personality" it's a total myth.

My DS is an only and has over the years been along to lots of clubs, activities, holiday playschemes etc and been more than happy to go in on his own without knowing a soul there - it's in his nature to be like that because he's naturally not phased by very much, isn't a worrier, is very easy going, socialable, extrovert and makes friends easily. It must be in the genes to a certain extent because I'm also very out-going and sociable. He was the same with starting school and pre-school etc. He never worried where I was.

By the same token over the years I've seen loads of chidlren at these various clubs and activities and in the school playground and at birthday parties etc screaming and crying and clinging to their parents and having to literally be peeled off them to get them to do anything! In the two very worst cases I can think of seeing over the years the children in question both had a sibling with the standard 2 year gap. One girl was so painfully shy that she used to miss whole birthday parties because she flatly refused to get off her mother's lap and take her head out of her hands, and the other boy used to suffer from extreme separation anxiety and still hadnt settled into school properly by the end of Yr 2.

How a child turns out will be individual to that particular child. it wil be determied by whats in their genes and how they are brought up by their parents.

I think parents of only children are sometimes guilty of "buying into" this whole "ony-child" personality myth and look for a convenient label to hang their child's clingy or shy and retiring behaviour onto when in fact it's just their particular personality.

It's not always practical to take a sibling along to everything they do anyway - lots of things have a specific age limit (such as football teams, or cubs etc) or are not things that oppostite sexes would be intersted in.

We can't have a comfort blanket throughout life so I think it's a good skill to nurture in a child to learn to face challenging situations. Doing it will give them sese of achievemet and help them to grow as individuals.

Can a school friend not start an activity with your DC so that they've got some company and someone they know with them who will be in the same boat?

It's my expereince of children with sibligs (both within my family and friends families) that they often spend enough time with them and want to make friends and spend time with other children rather than their siblings all the time.

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