Is it normal to feel upset when your child gives up their hobby?

(14 Posts)
houstonspca Thu 23-Jul-20 12:17:30

DS13 has decided he isn't going to be returning to his team sport this season. He's been doing it for 9 years. He's talented and I love watching him play. He isn't academic and so this was his area to really shine.

I feel so, so sad. I'm worried that without a hobby his world is going to be limited to Xbox and socialising and school. This might be catastrophising (not a word but you know what I mean!) but I feel like he's more likely to get pulled into smoking, drugs, etc.

Any words of wisdom to help me man up and feel less gutted about this?

OP’s posts: |
lukasiak Thu 23-Jul-20 12:25:26

I've always had the rule that they can quit whatever they like at the end of the season/pay period, provided they have something else lined up to move onto. Didn't care if it's arts, drama, another sports, even a part-time job, but I will not have stagnant, unengaged children.

Rollerbird Thu 23-Jul-20 12:26:39

I do think it's normal because it's been a huge part of your life too. It's the age they want to be the same as the school friends as 'hang out' and he might be quitting because he feels he's missing out because it takes a lot of time up.
As long as you make sure he doesn't feel like you value him based on the success or participation in the hobby.
Is it the sort of thing he could do at a lower level that has less time commitment?
Or starting another hobby that school friends also do? Sport team that he couldn't previously commit to because of demands of the other hobby?

hopefulhalf Thu 23-Jul-20 12:28:52

DS did this at the same age, but actually took it up again in Y9, so may not be forever. Agree with PP needs to have something else going on.

lukasiak Thu 23-Jul-20 12:37:54

Do you have a reason? Maybe book an appointment with a sports psychologist just to be certain it's what he actually wants and it's not just a 'not good enough' thing.

WeAllHaveWings Thu 23-Jul-20 14:24:19

ds(16) finished with his football team/playing in the leagues when he was 14. A lot of the boys finished around the same time, average players left as they weren't getting match time and the good players left because their friends were leaving and who was in the team was more important to them than the sport.

I was gutted, actually devastated, when ds left because it impacted MY social life with the other football mums 🤣 but we have kept in touch over a Whatsapp group and have sophisticated nights out pub crawls 4-5 times a year. I do missing the weekly catchups after training/at weekend games.

For ds, he never took up another team sport or hobby, but I made sure he knew that for his own well being he should do something to keep himself healthy/fit. For the last couple of years he has been going (by himself) to a very small independent local gym with trainers, they also do indoor and outdoor circuit training classes and he also works out with weights at home.

Leaving the team was better for ds in the end, he is definitely physically stronger, fitter and is more confident and proactive now about his own fitness than he ever was when playing football, he feels more in control of it. It suits him as he can be flexible when/how often he goes and fit it around his social life. He is toying with the idea now of going back to a martial art for the fitness aspects, he previously did karate but stopped when he was around 10.

lazylinguist Thu 23-Jul-20 14:31:24

Giving up hobbies is perfectly normal. Kids change. He'll find other hobbies and may chop and change them a lot over the years.

YWNBU to be mildly disappointed. YABU to be gutted and to think that giving up a particular hobby makes him more likely to turn to smoking and drugs! Hobbies are for the hobby-doer's enjoyment, not for the fulfilling of parental hopes and aspirations.


MooneyBadger Thu 23-Jul-20 14:34:29

After 9 years it may be that it's become a bit of a chore to him. Some time out may be exactly what he needs to work out whether it's really what he wants.

FWIW my friend's DS gave up a team sport that he was talented in when he was only a little younger than your DS. He drifted for a bit and then ended up trying out a completely different sport. He now competes at an international level in it.

WeAllHaveWings Thu 23-Jul-20 14:37:11

This might be catastrophising (not a word but you know what I mean!) but I feel like he's more likely to get pulled into smoking, drugs, etc.

It is a common concern, but the boys still in the football teams in our area are the main players in ds's school for organising meeting up at the weekend at the golf course (where they hide/meet up) and drinking heavily. ds went a few times but got fed up with the drunken and laddish behaviour and meets up with other friends and goes to the astro turf for a kick about/something to eat instead!

Being in/out of the football team wont determine this.

reefedsail Thu 23-Jul-20 14:46:45

Oh I will be gutted if/ when DS gives up his sport (although my wallet would be greatly relieved).

It's a big part of my life too- social time with other parents, time by the sea/ lakes (which I love) and structure and focus to the weekends and holidays (which I do need). When he either gives up or doesn't need me anymore I will have to get myself a hobby... I'm not sure I'll like that so much though because I prefer to be quietly behind the scenes.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Thu 23-Jul-20 14:50:18

What are his reasons?

houstonspca Thu 23-Jul-20 15:00:43

Thank you - you've all made me feel a bit less like I'm being crazy to feel this way.

He does want to take up something else eventually (boxing! shock) but classes aren't able to run at the moment due to contact.

His reasons for leaving - he's just fallen out of love with the sport altogether to be honest. It was becoming a chore rather than a pleasure for him. He needs to sign on for the coming season soon and I've said once he's signed on then he's committed until January, so he's decided not to do so.

OP’s posts: |
lotusbell Thu 23-Jul-20 15:04:58

I wish my DS13 had a hobby!

Ihaventgottimeforthis Fri 24-Jul-20 10:47:16

That seems honest and fair enough OP, it does happen! Once you lose the love for the sport, it changes everything. It's like getting the ick.

You never know, he may get back into it later in life.

Hopefully he will find something new to fill the gap.

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