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Kids that don't go out.

(46 Posts)
BastardDog Sat 15-Jun-13 15:09:54

Do other people's dcs go out? Do they spend time with friends? Or perhaps take part in hobbies?

My 12 and 13 yo refuse to join any extra curricular activities, school or otherwise. They both have a few friends who live very locally to us. Their friends seem to be busy most evenings and weekends with activities (tennis, martial arts, Guides, youth club etc) so are not available for my kids to spend time with.

I have nagged, encouraged, cajoled etc etc, but they won't join anything. We live in a medium size town and there's quite a bit of choice, but they simply won't.

When they were little I ferried them to Beavers, swimming, gymnastics, martial arts, street dance etc, but since they started High school they do nothing. Go to school, come home, stay in their rooms, maybe play out for the odd hour or so once a week when a local friend calls, but that's it.

The thought of a looming 7 week summer break with both of them hanging around the house all day is already filling me with dread. I used to enrol them in summer activity days at the local leisure centre, but they're too old now to be accepted.

lljkk Sat 15-Jun-13 15:14:09

Do they dislike all your suggestions?

13yo DS does Scouts & games workshop but little else (no local friends).

BastardDog Sat 15-Jun-13 15:23:15

It's not a lack of choice, if anything there's too much choice.

They seem to prefer to chill out at home combined with the fact that joining something means making an effort and they can't be bothered.

Part of me would like to see them more involved and doing more with their lives. Another part of me would just like to see them out from behind their TVs, tablets, games consoles, phones etc.

Is that part of the problem I wonder? Too much entertainment in their bedrooms? Maybe I'd have been the same at their ages if I'd had all that in my bedroom.

lljkk Sat 15-Jun-13 15:40:00

What entertainment do they actually have in bedrooms? DS has books to read, Warhammer & an iPad, but nothing else (can't find his phone).

BastardDog Sat 15-Jun-13 16:23:44

Both got TV with freeview. Both got smart phones with Internet (with web protection). Boy got Xbox, ps and wii. Girl got a tablet and a laptop also with web protection. That's just the main electronic stuff. Also old Nintendo ds, CD players, radio. Plus of course books, games, toys etc.

Are they spoilt? Is that why they won't go out?

Dd is asking for a mini fridge for her room for Xmas and I have said no to that.

lljkk Sat 15-Jun-13 16:36:35

I wouldn't say spoilt, but certainly comfortable! smile. I'm sure plenty of kids hanging on random street corners & planning mischief have similar stuff in their bedrooms, too. Try to look on the bright side.

Mine went to an outdoor adventure place for the day, half term week. Abseiling, archery, Big zipper type stuff. £36/day, though, per child, not cheap! Anything they want to do outside at this age seems to cost ££.

livinginwonderland Sat 15-Jun-13 18:31:38

I was like that when I was that age. I hated organised activity and when I was forced to take part (school trips, for example), I was miserable. You've offered, they've declined - do you really want to force them into something they don't want to do?

I think at that age, they're old enough to entertain themselves really - surely they can help out at home and generally just amuse themselves? Their friends may well have more spare time over the holidays as well and I'm sure they'll invite people over/go to friends houses more than they might during the term.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 18:35:14

Gawd, leave them at home and go to a cafe on your own during the holidays!

exexpat Sat 15-Jun-13 18:40:45

DS (14) doesn't do any organised activities outside school at the moment. He did do climbing, but that was at 9.30am on weekend mornings, and apparently expecting a teenager to get out of bed for that was too much to ask...

He does go and hang out with friends sometimes - more in the summer holidays/when the weather is good - and he goes to gigs quite often; he plays the guitar, and there is a vague sort of band arrangement with a few friends, but I can't remember when they last practised. When he doesn't go out, a lot of 'socialising' takes place on Facebook/twitter/skype etc.

I just leave him to it - at that age they know their own interests, and I don't think forcing them into group activities is a good idea. I know I would have hated it.

BastardDog Sat 15-Jun-13 19:37:25

Oh dear. I have a friend whose just coming out the teenage years with her dd and her advice was that I'd have to go out to get a break from them. hmm

It's all a bit alien to me and dh. At 13 we both had Saturday jobs and worked during the school hols. Dh did organised activities as well, I didn't, but hung about in all weathers with my mates. Dh and I can both remember our mums complaining that we were never home. confused

Anyone know where I can get a job working evenings and weekends? I might as well earn some money if I've got to be out of the house to get some peace.wink

teenagetantrums Sat 15-Jun-13 20:57:07

I think when mine were that age, My DS did army cadets twice a week and some weekends but that was it really didn't really go out with his friends.

My DD didn't really have many friends at that age she didn't settle in high school very well, but she did sometimes go to the park with the few she had.

By the time they were about 15 they were always out with or here with hoards of over teenagers.

Could you not just give them money and tell them to go swimming to the park for a few hours a day if you get fed up with them hanging around?

secretscwirrels Sun 16-Jun-13 10:29:37

Well I have two hermits here so I'd love to know the answer.

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 16-Jun-13 11:21:20

Mines stock answer is well at least you know where I am and I dont do drink drugs or smoke...

I just empty his bin and close the door behind me.

Yonididnaedaethat Sun 16-Jun-13 20:07:46

Since Friday after school the only time my 14yr old DD has stepped outside was to put the recycling out for me, which took all of 30 secs.

Alexia12 Sun 23-Jun-13 18:52:53

Be glad you know where they are, that they are safe and not out getting drunk, doing drugs and stealing 😊

Travelledtheworld Sun 23-Jun-13 23:55:36

bastarddog, my kids are 13 and 14 and exactly the same. They rarely go anywhere or do anything, apart from the odd birthday party or trip to the cinema. We have one shared laptop which they fight over,they each have an iPod. Where we live we have rubbish Internet access.

DS 13 has spent the entire weekend on the sofa playing Minecraft with his school friend via Skype.
DD 14 has spent hours washing her hair and sorting out her room.

They don't have any friends who live within walking distance. I ask them frequently if they would like to go out and do something different, but they rarely do.

Son belongs to a local archery club but I have to drag him out to go there. They have both dropped out of scouts and guides.

I had both a horse and an illicit boyfriend plus a Saturday job at the age of 14 so was never at home !

I am just hoping that in another year they will grow out of this. I am very concerned about their lack of exercise because I do quite a lot but they will not join me. DH is working overseas so no help at all!

ICantRememberWhatSheSaid Mon 24-Jun-13 00:16:16

Do you limit their Internet access? . Perhaps, during the summer, you could restrict Internet access until after 4. It might encourage them to go out.

goodasgold Mon 24-Jun-13 00:29:31

I had both a horse and an illicit boyfriend plus a Saturday job.

I still thought that I was a horse at 14. I used to gallop around, and neigh at people.

Travelledtheworld Mon 24-Jun-13 08:34:00

Goodasgold I used to do that too ( whinnies and paws the ground ).
Did your boyfriend go to the "Wrong school" ?

Travelledtheworld Mon 24-Jun-13 08:36:21

Icantremember...mine will only go out if I put them in the car and physically drive them somewhere.

Yonihadtoask Mon 24-Jun-13 08:37:48

Same here.

DS has now left Scouts, and has no hobbies as such.

Both DSSs just hang around the house also.

I offer to drive them to friends' houses, have friends over etc.

DS does do that now and again, but it definitely is different from when I was the same age - I was never in the house. But I guess I didn't have the internet, hundreds of tv channels etc.

Travelledtheworld Mon 24-Jun-13 08:37:55

Oops sorry Goodasgold...misunderstood you there.....

Yonihadtoask Mon 24-Jun-13 08:39:06

I don't really like it that they don't 'play out' - but haven't enforced it. They all go to different schools slightly out of area - so friends are spread out across the distri

wordfactory Mon 24-Jun-13 09:20:04

I think the teen years can go this way sometimes.

I have friends who can't get their DC interested in anyhting.

My own DD is a commensurate joiner-inner, and we struggle to get her into her room. Often too over scheduled. DS, however, is far more happy just hanging.

That said, he plays sports, so there is always training and matches/events. He's not too sociable though, so unlike his sister is extremely unlikely to just call up a friend for a mooch.

wordfactory Mon 24-Jun-13 09:26:48

OP, how about approaching the summer vac proactively?

Why not tell htem now, that they aint spending all day every day hanging about? Then ask them what they'd like to do. Give some suggestions too.

You'll often find tennis camps at local tennis clubs, footie camps in schools, swimming/lifesaving/diving courses in swimming pools.

If they say they don't want scheduled activities (and I would quite understand that) put the ball in their court.

Drag out the diary. Ask them which friends they'd like over. Could they camp in the garden? Get it booked in!

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