Uninterested in life 10yr old daughter(24 Posts)
My DD1 has no hobbies or interests other than tablet/PC/YouTube. She never wants to go out and moans when we do although she usually ends up enjoying herself (unless involving physical activity then it's 'the worst day of her life'). Exercise is important; she is bordering on overweight and loves to eat so we try to keep her as active as possible. She used to love reading, writing brilliant stories, drawing and Lego but now she has no passion for anything and is always bored. We had a PC/tablet free day and she couldn't find anything to do! She can't ride a bike (trust me we have tied to teach her over the years but she hates it and is scared of falling off). She's not a great swimmer as she's scared of the deep end. In the past we have paid for all sorts of classes ranging from tennis to dance so she could try different things but they all ended as she either had no talent for them/found it boring/didn't fit in with the other girls (Brownies) or found it too hard. The only thing she was any good at and she stuck was trampolining but this gave that up last September as 'too tired on a Saturday' after a week of school. Left to her own devices all she would do is eat and play Minecraft/MSP. We are a generally fit and active family and our holidays usually involve long walks/hikes and visiting places of interest; members of National Trust and English Heritage. She usually ends up enjoying herself once we have peeled her fingers off the banister to get her out of the house but when I'm on my own with her and her sister during the holidays it is a running battle to get her out anywhere and usually involves a bribe. She shows no interest in anything and I despair when I see other peoples kids excelling and enjoying themselves be it dance, drama, football, hockey, tennis, bike riding, horse riding, swimming, running etc. I'm hoping starting secondary school in September will give her a new lease of lief so to speak. She is a unique person and I love her to bits and I'd be happy if it was just reading she was passionate about but it's the lack of interest in anything that worries me. She likes fashion but I can't keep taking her shopping! Please tell me this is just a phase and she's not unusual.
before I opened your thread and read the content my first q was "does she have a tablet /phone"
my DSs aged 10 is the same - he is addicted to his phone and watching videos on YouTube - left to his own devices he would spend hours doing this and nothing else. it really has an impact on his mood and when we then tell him to get off of he is bored. this w/e we have banned phones and whilst they have been playing games on wii u together these are much more sociable /interactive.
I really think your daughters tablet is probably the issue and maybe you should consider having a daily limit on this or even better a tablet free day each week to see if this helps?
Our 12 year old has lost the use of her smart phone for a week for some extremely ridiculous behaviour. She has moped about somewhat but is sleeping better and is much nicer to know. It's only day three!
Might be an idea.
My DS just came back from a weeks residential activity trip with school where no devices were allowed. He said today 'life is so much better without phones and stuff' He has always played sports but did rely on his phone to entertain him at home. I think your situation if possible I would try to take a break away camping or in a camping pod or something and keep her busy morning to night with activitie. Sometimes you have to reset and you can't really do that when you still have all the devices around you.
My dd is also 10 and sounds very similar to your DD although she wil go out but she has no hobbies either. She is a guide and does enjoy that and there are so many opportunities I try to encourage her to do as many as possible. She does get bitter about life sometimes and she often tells me she is worthless as she doesntbhave anything she is good at. She isn't sporty or particularly academic she can't sing dance or act. She is always the last or near the end to get the golden awards at school and the words are she is an all round well behaved girl or something similar. All her friends are 'good' at something and coz she is just mediocre she feels she isn't as important as Alice the fantastic athlete or Sam the top swimmer. She is putting on weight but sees sport as only for competing not fitness and despite me making her attend after school sports clubs (for fitness!!) She is never picked she refuses to go any more. At 10 yrs old she has already decided that life is crap if you aren't good at something. Unfortunately all her primary school friends have a talent one is an amazing gymnast then her other friend loves horses and is a good horse rider and her 2 cousins swim for the county so then poor girl thinks she is worth nothing. I am hoping at secondary school she will meet more medicore people and not feel you have to have a talent to enjoy life.
Take away the tablet/PC for a month - not as a punishment and for yourself/dh as well (at least during the day). Offer interesting things to do but also leave time for her to entertain herself. Ignore initial whinging. You'll get your dd back.
Then, after a month, reintroduce v limited screen time. Mine get 6 hours a week (2 hours Fri/Sat/Sun). They are 11 and 9.
Would you describe her as clumsy? Have you ever thought of dyspraxia? The fear of depths - perception issue - and not being able to ride a bike are two possible symptoms.
Can she earn her screen time?
Could she read about minecraft - there are loads of books (library) and mags dedicated to it?
Has she ever tried anything like rowing/kayaking? What about martial arts? Yoga? Archery? Table tennis?
What about a pet? Could she dog walk for someone else?
Does she have a list of jobs around the house - responsibility boosts self-esteem - and can be used to earn the dreaded screen time?
Does she like the cinema? Is she better if you give her a choice - say two options: you choose today, your sister next time?
Can she come up with a list of activities - what about cooking? Baking? Den building? Visiting a museum? Art gallery with workshop?
Both my dd's are the same, one has Aspergers and dyspraxia, the other has ASD. I get really frustrated, more so with the eldest one as she just doesn't want to do anything. I am already threatening to turn of the wifi during the summer holidays. I make them go out, they moan but once we are out they do enjoy themselves, we go for walks, bodyboarding at the beach and visit nature reserves (they don't like busy places). Before we go out I get tears from my eldest, she tells me she feels ill and wants to stay at home but I ignore and make her go anyway. Sometimes we compromise and she takes her tablet, phone or 3ds with her.
Have you thought about a non physical hobby? My dd1 is into music in a big way. It's taken a couple of years for her to appreciate that you have to work at it, but she's learning a skill and making new, like-minded friends.
Wrt to eating my dd is a bit like that but I say no to repeated requests. Hundreds of times if I have to.
Thanks everyone. All useful stuff. I've often thought she was mildly ASD or dyspraxic although she is also very intelligent and excels academically. She has ligament laxity and I was warned that she could affect her as she grew up; tiredness, muscle aches more than her peers with normal ligaments, although the advice has always been to exercise her more to get her fitter to compensate!. She hates crowded noisy places, although she will go to school discos. She also likes routine which is why things can go to pot in the holidays. I'm hoping as she gets older she can join in activities with me - Zumba or gym classes (although I hate the gym), aqua aerobics, Pilates that kind of thing. Sporting activities for primary age children all seem to be based on competitive team based games so rather put kids off I feel, if they are not naturally gifted in that department like my DD1. Luckily though she appears to be happy in her world and has good self esteem. However this can be a hindrance to my attempts at keeping her healthy and active - the body confidence thing has gone too far the other way - "so what, I don't care, you should accept me for what I am" when trying to explain about keeping at a healthy weight (we avoid using the f word). You just can't win with a highly intelligent 10 yr going on 30. She is very thick skinned. I'm hoping I'll see some changes in September, and this is all part of the 'tween' transition. Today at the park I felt so sorry for her as she was the eldest/biggest kid there and only the swings really got her moving (and running away from ducks, geese, squirrels, dogs... basically anything that moved suddenly). Perhaps she is yet to find her 'thing' and the people/friends that she fits with. I will keep trying her with new experiences too - perhaps a music based hobby - drumming can't be too difficult can it???
Please don't obsess over physical activity. It's obviously important but there's other things she may enjoy.
I really do recommend music. Why does it need to be 'drumming'? Are you thinking she'd be no good or something?
No, just thought it would be fun and not too off putting with technique to put her off. She struggles with difficulty or rather will give up as soon as it gets too difficult. Trying to make it easy.
Actually percussion can be very difficult - not saying it isn't a good idea! Guitar might be better - quick gratification at least - or if you're thinking she could do with a bit more of a social life, violin or flute/clarinet as she might get the opportunity to play with others which can be really fun.
I think though you need to work on the failure fear aspect. I'd also get her to swimming lessons. If she gets some badges she'll start to learn that when you work at something you'll get rewarded.
Also, have another tablet free day and tell her if she's really nothing to do pack up everything in her room as clearly she doesn't need it.
Can you do some volunteering together? Maybe meeting some new people will help, and she might enjoy more if you're there too.
I sense a lake of resilience which will cost her later in life. Many girls of that age seem to become a bit 'afraid of life' and knockbacks. Have you don't a week where the whole family are technology free? We do it when we go on holiday. No phones/iPads/laptops unless an emergency. It is fabulous and really liberating (after day three and that sense of panic has gone) and when we take students it has really helped girls become more confident that they are not going to get photographed etc and they start being more 'natural' I also think girls need to be encouraged to be more hung ho, as some boys are as I see so many treated like they are weaklings.
A slightly off the wall thought but what about encouraging geeky hobbies? There are clubs for computer coding, a great skill to have, look at the big shows like insomnia for lots of minecraft geeks, or board gaming? If she was engaged she might get more motivated?
What about running? What age is her sister? Can they do park run together? Also, totally get the whole "not good at anything" I never won anything at school.
But I have recently discovered virtual runner where you can sign up to do say 5k and you get a medal AND some of the fee goes to charity
Not sure if there is a lower age limit or anything and she would need someway of tracking her run to prove it. Or you could do it with her and track it/submit it for her?
Yes same as my kids. But me and my husband (especially my husband) is a world class couch potato so we arent great role models.
. I've often thought she was mildly ASD or dyspraxic although she is also very intelligent and excels academically.
They are not mutually exclusive you know!
Take away the tablet and look at a new type of drawing? Manga maybe?
It's definitely important to lead by example.
Both dh and I run because we enjoy it. We're showing that we can motivate ourselves and we enjoy getting fit. Both dds have done junior running events and I'm sure they wouldn't have been interested if we didn't do things too.
I was utterly, utterly crap at sports at school. In fact I do wonder if I am mildly dyspraxic myself. I'm very academic, however.
I think it's good to have an interest in something other than screens and if this can be established before the teen years and social media come on the scene even better. Even if it's getting outside in the garden, park or doing cooking or crafts anything is better than being on a tablet.
What about hobbies that aren't centres around sport? Things like rpg or similar? Painting figurines is popular. Maybe she just isn't sporty and might excel in the geekier aspects of life. Why not look at things like Raspberry Pi to engage her in coding and development which isn't too far removed from 'devices' or encourage her to make short animations or her own YouTube channel for fun ( even if it's not published) - iMovie has a fantastic movie trailer tutorial and templates that my dd and her cousin spend hours playing with and making really good film trailers. Not all kids want to be a sporty kid. Find interests that engage her
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