Worn out with Twelve year old ds(9 Posts)
I have a kind, affectionate ds . He had a severe speech delay as a toddler and possible dyspraxia but you would never know now. My frustration is that he will not do anything to push himself even slightly out of his comfort zone, is lazy, has no hobbies or interests (apart from screens). He won't read a book despite being a reasonably able reader and the house being full of books. He won't do any sport, despite enjoying cricket and badminton at school...he won't join a club. He tried drama club and was told he was good at at..refused to go back. He lives on a rubbish diet, despite my best efforts, he refuses to eat fruit or veg despite the fact we always have a full fruit bowl etc.. My dh and I are pretty liberal and we have never ever pressured him to do any of these things..perhaps we should have, my husband annoys me as he just shrugs and won't engage in any activities with my son. I took ds out today with my younger dc and he just complained and sucked all the joy from the day. I would never criticize him directly like this to his face...I have v.critical mother so I know what it is like. I can't even discuss with my dh he won't understand. Pls believe it is not about wanting him to be a high-achiever or anything' I just want him to have some passions and interests other than watching rubbish on you-tube all day. As an avid reader myself who finds reading my greatest pleasure, It breaks my heart he doesn't read at All. I work in mental health and I worry that he is not building up good resilience and mental health for the future. I think his confidence is low, but he will do nothing, nothing to help himself and I am utterly worn out with the effort of trying to encourage, cajole persuade him to eat better and spend less time on x-box and get out in the world. He has good social skills and lots of friends but none live nearby. Should I just give up? What else can I do..I am getting a bit obsessed and sitting here now in tears of frustration.
Hi. He sounds a lot like my 12 yo DS, apart from the sport bit, although mine will only do one sport and not try anything else. I don't think you can force passions for reading or interests but we do our best to encourage him and leave the door open. DS will actively stop doing something if he feels he's being cajoled. So we're playing a waiting game, waiting for a bit of maturity. Sorry, nothing very helpful there, but I don't think your DS is very unusual and you aren't alone.
Thanks tiger that is a helpful, comforting message. My Husband agrees we need wait till he matures a bit and I know nagging him to read, eat fruit, go play badminton etc.. Never works and just winds everyone up I just can't seem to relax....I'm driving myself round the bend!
My Ds1 (13yo) would be like this given the chance, although he will read, he reads the same books over and over, doesn't stretch himself.
I'm afraid I tell him what he's doing rather than ask/suggest. e.g we're going swimming today, I've booked you in for a holiday drama club or a conservation workshop. He's not always thrilled about it but enjoys himself once he's there. I also don't allow any screen time in the holidays until minds and bodies have been suitably exercised. I buy very limited amounts of junk food, so he doesn't have that option.
His friends are mostly several miles away too but this summer he's started to get about by bike more and is enjoying the freedom and independence of being able to meet up with friends but before that I made lots of arrangements for him to make sure he could meet friends.
That said, I am wondering just how I'm going to find enough things to "tell" him about this summer.
Thanks frontier I do buy v. limited junk food, but he still won't eat fruit or much veg. I like your style and have tried to ' tell' rather than ask but it just leads to terrible rows (where dh won't back me up so I'm always the 'bad guy' ). I really really tried to get him back to drama club to the point of almost frog marching out of the door, but then he had a panic attack (genuine) so I did give up at that point. The frustrating thing is it is lack of confidence and avoidance and if I could just get him there I am sure he would enjoy it and have a confidence boost!
Do you allow unlimited time on x-box and the internet? My dd loves reading but when given the choice between a screen and a book will always choose the screen. Too much screen time translates into being difficult and uncooperative. A bit of boredom is good for children, it stimulates creativity and interests.
We have similar battles. My rule is if you want to do something unhealthy such as playing on the Xbox, then I expect you to do something healthy such as eating fruit/veg or sport.
Thanks. I probably do need to reinforce limits more. I realize it's the lack of reading that most upsets me and in my experience, my ds can be about to chew his leg off with boredom and he still won't read a book...I just hope this might change one day.
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