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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.

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 24-Jun-13 09:37:28

My kids are too old for the 8am to 6pm holiday clubs that we use to dump put them into while we went to work but around here the leisure centres do one day 10am to 4pm wall climbing courses, for example, for different age groups including teenagers. Then there is fencing, badminton etc etc. Other providers hire out the facilities at the local 'closed for the summer' schools and offer stuff like pottery and cooking classes.

There are options out there. You just need to look smile

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 24-Jun-13 09:43:01

Going back to your other point, we solved the problem of our kids not wanting to go out by getting rid of Sky a few years ago. They still got the PC and their gadgets but after a few hours of that they get bored and plead to go out somewhere, anywhere. Problem solved.

cq Mon 24-Jun-13 09:48:52

Sounds like they are a bit over-provided for in their rooms. God forbid they turn into the lazy 18-yr old on another active thread right now.

I agree with comment up thread about restricting internet - I can restrict access to social sites etc at certain times if I want to. No food allowed in bedrooms so they have to come out when they're hungry.

Loud mum music and hoovering usually shifts mine off their arses.

Mine are a bit shy and not keen on organised activities but will admit to getting bored of screens eventually. Bought a cheap and cheerful badminton set from Decathlon which gets used a lot. Having some tennis lessons at a local club. Walking the dogs, compulsory.

DD and I will probably do some cooking - luckily as she's getting older, she can manage more on her own. DS actually likes cooking too but would never admit it. Actually, I think I might challenge them to take over one night a week planning and cooking dinner - just thought of that, genius grin.

Maybe we should start another thread for suggestions for reluctant teenagers' summer (in)activities?

CaurnieBred Mon 24-Jun-13 09:53:55

When DSis and I were that age, both our parents worked so we were expected to run the house during the summer. We wouldn't do much in the morning - remember mum calling me at 1pm to make sure I was out of bed, but the afternoons were spent doing housework (eg, washing, ironing, hoovering, dusting) and making sure dinner was on the table for dad coming home at 5.30pm. Could you make that your threat: do something or do the housework?

HeathRobinson Mon 24-Jun-13 09:57:38

Mine are happy at home.

I really don't see the problem.

flipchart Mon 24-Jun-13 10:01:17

Ds2 is nearly 14.

He has mates around and goes out to play a lot - kicking a ball on the fields, they bomb round on their bikes, slouch around from one house to another.

He goes to scouts.
He goes to the pictures a lot, sometimes with friends sometimes by himself.
He often goes swimming with his mates and also to ice skating.
The town have had a huge youth building built but He refuses to go there as do his mates.

mrsjay Mon 24-Jun-13 13:38:47

they need something to do imo but at their ages I think guides and scouts would be boring Id tell ask them to find something to do over the summer and they are not allowed to sit in all day every day it is UP to them to find it or look for something they want to do even if it is with friends they are old enough to entertain themselves,

did they do any activities when they were younger and give up, TBh dd2 doesnt go out that much but will meet friends

livinginwonderland Mon 24-Jun-13 14:30:54

why should teenagers be forced to socialise if they don't want to? if they're at home reading/playing games/sleeping - what's the harm? they're not hurting anyone, they're safe and not spending all your their money on bus fares or food.

speaking from my own experience, i resented being forced to be social and was determined to hate every second of it. if you leave them with nothing to do they WILL eventually get bored and entertain themselves.

happyreindeer Mon 24-Jun-13 14:50:20

Ds1 is nearly 22. He does not go out. His best friend from college moved to England and they communicate by skype etc. He has no other friends and is unemployed at the moment. He has gained loads of weight and I am very worried about him. He says he is happy enough and we have great chats and laughs etc. But surely there should be more to life than that for him? Encourage your dcs to go out at all times or it will be worse the older they get.

mrsjay Mon 24-Jun-13 15:07:57

I was saying they have to be social or go out all the time the dds are homebodies and they dont do tonnes of activities wel dd1 is an adult but I think they need to do something being stuck indoors all the time and Never going out is really unusual they do seem to have loads at home these days and teenagers socilaise through the internet now anyway, but it is nice to go out with friends now and again isn't it ?

livinginwonderland Mon 24-Jun-13 15:29:42

Sure, I wasn't saying that being sociable and going out isn't important - of course it is! But most teenagers hate forced organised activities and I would have hated my parents to "arrange" things for me at that age. I was more than capable of calling my friends if I was bored and of entertaining myself if my friends weren't around.

I know a lot of people say teenagers spend too much time indoors, but would they be any different if they were raised now? There's much more entertainment available, for free, indoors, than there was even ten years ago. I went out as a kid because it was that or watch maybe 4 channels on TV or read the same books over and over. Now there's much more entertainment available.

Travelledtheworld Mon 24-Jun-13 16:38:34

It's really difficult to find affordable summer camps for 13 to 15 year olds. Last summer I was working so I refused to let them stay home alone and play computer games all day.They went to day camp at a local boarding school which cost about £50 per day. They did lots of sports and games.

They enjoyed the first week but after that the novelty wore off. There were a lot of foreign school children there so they learned some interesting swear words in German and Russian !

ZZZenagain Mon 24-Jun-13 17:04:39

mine is not yet 13 but there are things she is willing to do and we found a lot of options for this summer. She has not yet decided entirely what she will sign up for but the options are there and she is interested in doing them (sewing -she is doing a 3 day course now, drawing mangas, tennis camp at her club -she plays there anyway, church teen camp, artwork course for something weird, Go course- the Japanese game). She can do what she wants of it but I do look for things before the holidays.

Depending on where you live (we are overseas), there can be a lot for dc 13/14. I don't think you mentioned whether they are boys or girls or where their interests lie. Maybe they are just a bit worn out from secondary school and need to unwind.

I would kick them outdoors every morning after breakfast though. They can play with ipads, read books outdoors as easily as indoors. Send them on errands- it will get them out of the house and moving around.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Jun-13 18:40:05

DD (8) and DSS2 (15) are going to a US summer camp for four weeks this summer. They went (together) for the first time last summer, for three weeks, and loved it. I really think that the US leads the world in summer camps and recommend this experience to anyone who can afford it.

Helpyourself Tue 25-Jun-13 18:46:51

That's an awful lot of screens they have. What do/ would they say if you restrict their access? Are you going to be around this summer? It'll be hard to monitor their use if not, but I'd be thinking of something drastic if mine were spending that long on their own. Any relatives on the outer Hebrides? Can you take them camping somewhere without wifi?

goodasgold Tue 25-Jun-13 23:04:37

travelledtheworld yes as it happens. And neigh neigh huurumphh.

Horsemad Wed 26-Jun-13 10:03:49

goodasgold & travelled - did you also set up jumps in the back garden and jump them yourselves to the Horse of the Year theme music like I did?!! grin

My eldest DS hates being forced into arranged activities and would happily play computer games all day long whereas my DS2 is hardly in the house!

I just let them get on with it now. smile

Travelledtheworld Wed 26-Jun-13 23:33:36

Yes, we made jumps out of broom handles and tin cans and would gallop round...
Was quite little then, 8 or 9. Stated to scrounge other people's ponies at age 10.

Travelledtheworld Wed 26-Jun-13 23:39:46

bonsoir yes the USA leads the world in summer camps but that's because they have 10 week school vacation in the summer and most Americans only get two weeks annual leave. Parents are desperate to keep their kids entertained/ educated/ enriched for the long summer vacation.

We lived in the USA for 7 years. My kids did not want to go to Summer camp there either. But they were under 10 then and happily entertained with a lawn sprinkler or down at the local pool.

goodasgold Thu 27-Jun-13 22:16:32

Horsemad and travelled Yes, if you mean dodododododododododo. I still hear that internally when I ride my bike.

Horsemad Thu 27-Jun-13 22:29:29

Ahgood that takes me right back. grin

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