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DD has no hobbies

(15 Posts)
alovelyday Fri 10-Jul-15 11:47:27

DD1 is 5 years old. She's a very quiet little girl and gets quite anxious about things. In familiar environments she's more confident. She's very intelligent and is doing well in school (after a shaky start where she would scream and cry not to be separated from us). She's only recently become confident when she goes to a friends birthday party, before this she would spend the whole party clinging to us, crying, then only finding the confidence to join in just before it finished. That's just a little background to explain what she's like.

DD doesn't have any hobbies outside of school. We've tried to get her to join clubs, both after school clubs (so in a familiar environment) and evening/weekend clubs such as swimming. Any mention of them she gets visibly upset. We've promised to stay with her, sit on the side etc but she shows no interest. We haven't pushed it and left it at that.

Last week she came home from school with a letter about a local gymnastics class. She was so excited and told me she wanted to join! Fantastic, I couldn't believe it! I thought I'm not letting this one go, let's strike now the iron is hot! I contacted the club and arranged for her to start yesterday. Well it went terrible. She was so excited on the way there, but as soon as we got there she cried the whole time. They even allowed me to get involved so that she wasn't alone (not a pretty sight seeing me jumping around!). Other little girls, even ones younger than her, were trying to hold her hand to get her involved but she just stood there crying. You would swear she had been dragged there under duress. We left early because she was so distressed and she's told me she doesn't want to go back.

I was so excited that this might be the start of something for her. All her classmates seem to go to various clubs, I've even tried getting her to join clubs her friends already go to, but she's not interested.

I suppose what I'm here to ask is, is this healthy? Do we just accept the fact she doesn't want to go anywhere, or do we keep trying? I'm not saying I want her to be at a different club every night, maybe just one a week so she has a hobby that she can enjoy? She's such a happy little girl at home, we have a happy, loving home life, myself and my DH are happily married, so it's not as if she's living in a hostile environment that's causing her anxiety. I just don't know what is best for her in the long run, I don't want to make her anxiety worse but if she doesn't get involved with anything then surely it's not going to get any better?

Any words of advice would be much appreciated.

lexyloub Fri 10-Jul-15 13:17:49

My ds is also 5 he has no hobbies either we've tried football rugby karate swimming he's just not interested I don't see anything wrong with it he might change his mind when he's older he might not it's not an issue it he doesn't

FATEdestiny Fri 10-Jul-15 13:35:26

Don't stop trying. But also don't push her to do things when she isn't ready.

I found my 5 year old was much more keen to join clubs if a best friend started at the same time, so that they could both be 'brave' together.

FATEdestiny Fri 10-Jul-15 13:36:20

Rainbows (younger version of Brownies) is great for this ago. But I'd definitely recommend starting Rainbows with a friend rather than on her own, if she's shy.

Meandmygirls2009 Fri 10-Jul-15 13:38:27

I would just leave it, hobbies are not important for 5 year olds. I don't think I ever had any hobbies as a child, maybe invite a friend round once a week to play instead x

BackforGood Fri 10-Jul-15 17:14:27

Whereas I agree that a 5 yr old doesn't need hobbies, I do understand your concern.
Would it be worth trying to go along to watch something for a while? For example, the gymnastics. Phone the teacher during the week and explain what you have told us, and say you are going to bring her back next week but have promised dd she can just have a look / watch the others and she won't be asked to join in - is that ok? Then tell dd you enjoyed it last wee, and, whilst she doesn't have to take part if she doesn't want to, you would like to go and watch so she will have to come with you.
How is she when you go anywhere else - family gatherings for example?
Is it a fear of an unknown situation, or fear of people, or fear of being left, do you think ?

alovelyday Fri 10-Jul-15 19:26:06

Thank you all for your replies.

I think I agree about children not needing hobbies as such, we do plenty as a family, I just worry seeing everyone in her class going to clubs and think is she missing out on having a hobby and interacting with kids her age?

Backforgood I think that's a good idea going to watch without the pressure of joining in. Think I will try that. I just feel so sad that she was so excited to go then was a complete mess when she was there. I felt sorry for her. I know she cant help the fact she's an anxious person.

At other gatherings - depends where we are. Family she is confident around, anyone else and she's very anxious, won't join in, gets upset easily. She's also very anxious and scared when it comes to loud noises (sorry to drip feed).

I think this all boils down to the fact that I'm worried about her anxiety.

GinUpGirl Fri 10-Jul-15 19:29:33

When do school start doing after school clubs? Could she find a love of, say netball, through that - guid her confidence up and then find an out of school version?

alovelyday Fri 10-Jul-15 19:34:44

Ginupgirl They will start back when school restarts in September. But that's a good idea. Perhaps get her comfortable staying at an after school club. Even that would be a huge step forwards for her.

DoItTooJulia Fri 10-Jul-15 19:50:38

Op, it must be horrible to watch your confident at home dd be like this at things other kids seem to do so easily. My DS isn't one for clubs. I've tried the usual stuff. In his case it's not anxiety, he's just a home bird and into other things. I've stopped worrying.

I'm waiting for him to find his thing. However in your case, I'd be seeking some help with the anxiety your dd is suffering. Poor her and poor you.

In the meantime, it's a bit woo, so feel free to ignore, but my kids love some guided kids meditation. We have a few CDs and they're great. They have a worry tree in them, where they can mentally hang their worries while they enjoy the journey. I dunno, worth a try?

DanyStormborn Fri 10-Jul-15 21:46:31

When I was 5 I was so anxious that I wouldn't talk at school and was terrified of going anywhere new like clubs etc. I was too of my class academically but dreaded anything except outings with just my parents or grandparents. I gradually got over it and by junior school I was confident and popular and enjoyed going to Brownies, swimming and tennis.

GinUpGirl Fri 10-Jul-15 22:13:22

Definitely go down the school extra curricular route first I think - familiar faces will make everything easier for the poor little thing!

AliMonkey Fri 10-Jul-15 22:39:33

My DC have been the same. Never wanted to join anything. Eventually in year 3 DD joined a club at school, and DS (who has big anxiety issues) joined two in year 3. Both signed up for them with a friend. This term (year 5) I eventually persuaded DD to join a club that meets at her school in an evening but isn't a school club. Did this by saying she could just go and watch but didn't have to join in, and by giving her that option she felt in control and chose to join in almost straight away and loves it.

So go for school clubs, see if a friend wants to go and give them the option to just watch. But if none of that works be encouraged that eventually she will probably choose to join something.

BackforGood Sat 11-Jul-15 00:03:18

From what you've added, I would definitely do a bit more 'getting ready' on future occasions then...go along first....let her see the building...let her meet the instructor...let her watch what others do. Let her get a 'feel' for the situation before she is expected to "do" anything.

Many people get anxious to different levels - indeed, I'm sure all of us get anxious to some degree when starting anything new, but for those for whom the anxiety is crippling, then you need to acknowledge that and work round it by doing a much more gradual transition into any new situation.

alovelyday Sat 18-Jul-15 00:02:11

Sorry, only now getting back to this thread!

Thank you all for the advice.

I think we need to tackle her anxiety first before anything else. I think writing it all down and explaining it has made me realise that's the problem and not the fact she doesn't want to join any clubs.

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