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dd(5) doesn't want to go to any extracurricular activities

76 replies

Salmiak · 13/09/2015 23:06

Dd has just started year 1, last year she went to gymnastics one afternoon after school. She really enjoyed it but was always completely exhausted by the time we got home. Half way through the summer term I quit taking her as she was just too tired.

This year I have offered her a choice of music lessons, karate, gymnastics, trampolining club, ballet, swimming lessons and horse riding. She doesn't want to go to any of them as she says school is just too long and she's got no energy. She just wants to be home with me or have playdates. At home she's got plenty of spare energy and we often spend an hour after school in the playground so I think she might be able to cope.

Dh reckons that she really should be doing at least swimming lessons and maybe one other activity a week too, however I think that if she's happiest at home then that's absolutely fine and I'll just calmly wait for her to get a sudden desire to start doing street dance or pottery or whatever sometime in the future

How essential are these afternoon clubs for young dc? I notice that most of her classmates go to at least one extra thing a week, some go to at least 4... should I be forcing her to go when she clearly states she doesn't want to?

OP posts:

0hCrepe · 13/09/2015 23:09

I wouldn't bother. If she develops an interest in something as she gets older she'll soon catch up. 5 is very young.


EatShitDerek · 13/09/2015 23:09

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OneDay103 · 13/09/2015 23:11

She's 5. I don't know what's with pushing kids today to do all these extra activities. She's let you know she's happy to play at home and the playground.


OddlyLogical · 13/09/2015 23:12

You don't have to do organised activities after school. You can do ad-hoc activities yourself. Take her swimming, go to the park, soft play etc.
If she doesn't want to do any, I think you would be setting yourself up for a battle and a whole load of stress if you try to push her into it.


DramaAlpaca · 13/09/2015 23:12

I don't think they are necessary at all. If she is happier just chilling at home after school then I'd let her. Plenty of time to do activities later on if she wants to. She's only young yet.


IHaveBrilloHair · 13/09/2015 23:12

Dd did Beavers for a year, her choice, she was about 8 at the time.
Your dd doesn't want to, so she should not have to.


Fatmomma99 · 13/09/2015 23:12

I agree with both the PPs with everything except the swimming lessons, because knowing how to swim could save her life.

She's only wee, so if she's telling you she's too tired, please listen to her and let her chill out. Yr 1 is very different to reception, so not surprised she's knacked.

But do make sure she can swim!

If she becomes keen on something in the future, then that's the time to sign her up.


Fatmomma99 · 13/09/2015 23:13

(sorry! there were only two posts when I started typing!)


LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 13/09/2015 23:15

Everything fat said. Swimming is essential, but that's it.


Salmiak · 13/09/2015 23:23

We spent a lot of time in the summer holiday at the pool, she can now doggy paddle a width by herself but I'm sure she'd really benefit from some proper lessons. I agree that swimming is a fantastic skill to have, and I'd love it if she was keen on some lessons. But she's adamant she's not, and I don't fancy paying for a block of lessons and then having to force her to go with her not enjoying them and dealing with the resulting tiredness after.

OP posts:

noddingoff · 13/09/2015 23:24

At five, making mud pies in the garden and pottering up and down the stream in my wellies was the height of my creative and sporting endeavour. I was never much of a "joiner" as a child and was definitely a bit shy and turned into a slightly socially inept teenager, but I had a nice childhood and all turned out well in the end and I ended up doing sporty stuff and whatnot.


Saltedcaramel4 · 13/09/2015 23:26

Wait for the summer and book a couple of weeks swimming 1:1 with a teacher.


Fatmomma99 · 13/09/2015 23:28

If she has enough skill to get herself out of a sticky situation, then leave that too until she's ready. The point about the extra-curricular stuff is that the child is supposed to enjoy it.

My DD was the opposite of yours and wanted to do EVERYTHING but everything I signed her up for was something she wanted to do, I never forced her anywhere.

My problem now (she's heading for 14) is that she wants to drop something if she feels she's not appreciated enough (eg, she is in the "b" team for a sport) when something newer and shinnier comes along, and I think she should stick it out at the original sport. But that's a different thread.


scatterthenuns · 13/09/2015 23:28

A Saturday morning club instead? When she's rested and not been to school.

5 is still very little. Growing up, I didn't know many kids who stayed after school for activities before year 4.


trufflehunterthebadger · 13/09/2015 23:28

Just make her go. Had i adopted the "she shouldn't have to do anything she doesn't want to" policy DD would never have started any of the activities she now adores as she is very reluctant to try new activities.

I just take her along and perservere for a few weeks as by then she is usually enjoying it

But clearly i am a pushy parent


Anomaly · 13/09/2015 23:30

My DS is the same. He was doing a couple of activities which he appeared to enjoy but now he says no. So he does swimming lessons only which are non-negotiable in our house. I go in with him before the lesson which he loves. He then has a lesson which he's less keen on but he doesn't have a choice about and he's definitely making progress.


JeffreySadsacIsUnwell · 13/09/2015 23:33

When DD was in YR, we cut right back to just swimming because she was totally exhausted. Swimming's non-negotiable, in my book - it's as essential as learning to read and write. We started adding stuff around Christmas of Y1 when she requested specific activities.

She's just turned 6, is in Y2, and is now doing swimming, multisports, foreign language lessons, tennis, drama, after school club and art club. She wants to do more; there aren't enough hours in the day and we're already doubling up some days, in order to keep one day free to have friends round.

Definitely let her relax now, she'll tell you when she's ready. You may as well save your pennies (and your time) when you can! Also, there's no point 'forcing' a child to do anything - they'll be miserable and resentful and probably lose any enjoyment they had for that activity (and to that end, we did miss the odd swimming lesson, despite having paid for the course, when it was obvious that little would be gained that day...).

FWIW, DD was going to bed by 6 first term of Y1. Sadly, she's still wide awake reading at 9 most nights these days despite bedtime being 7 and lights out half an hour later! But Y1 was tough to start.


Morganly · 13/09/2015 23:43

Don't they do swimming lessons at school now? I thought it was part of the national curriculum. Or take her swimming yourself at weekends. Actually, make your H do it as he's so keen on her doing extra curricula activities.


margaritasbythesea · 13/09/2015 23:54

My dd is 7 and still like this. She did basketball for a term and gave up because she was tired. Ditto ballet. I have no advice but am interested. I was about to start this thread myself.

She is partially deaf though and being partially deaf myself i think this makes her very tired.

And no. She won't swim either.


2rebecca · 14/09/2015 00:02

I'd do swimming until she is competent. Otherwise leave it. The things my kids are in to now as teenagers are totally different to any activities they did at primary school. If she's going to be a budding musician/ athlete etc she has to want to do it and enjoy it. Otherwise hobbies are just for fun and if she's having fun at home then let her be.


inchoccyheaven · 14/09/2015 00:12

Mine are now teens and the only activities my ds1 has done is tennis and cricket. Ds2 has never done any,just not interested in trying anything. They both learnt to swim from school lessons and funnily enough have never been in a situation where they have needed to be able to swim to save their life.
I would let her just be at home and have time with friends if that's what she wants.


Lweji · 14/09/2015 00:18

I made (more than once) a deal with DS, at about the same age.
He would try the activity and if by Christmas he still hated it, then he could quit.
At the time it was something I thought he should do, such as swimming, but in your case, she could pick one out of those options.
Maybe try something less sporty this time? Music is also a great skill and it's supposed to be good for math skills as well. :)
Maybe you should do something too to encourage her.


clary · 14/09/2015 00:27

"funnily enough [they] have never been in a situation where they have needed to be able to swim to save their life" - well that's a good thing then.

But you can't know that a child will not get into that situation. I agree with those who say swimming is non negotiable; in this house you had swimming lessons until you were competent - ie could swim several lengths of a reasonable stroke, jump in, tread water etc. That could be achieved by weekly lessons or a series of 1-1 lessons if that's preferable.

Otherwise tho OP I would leave it with yr DD if she's not keen. She's not missing out for life on the chance to learn ballet/riding/playing clarinet/karate just cos she doesn't do it at 5yo.


cariadlet · 14/09/2015 00:30

Some children do find the early years of school tiring, whereas others will happily do an after school activity every day and still have loads of energy for playing back at home afterwards. I think that you know your child best.

My dd started tap and ballet as a toddler and loved it, but had to quit in Reception as the lessons were on Friday and by the end of the week she was shattered. We started swimming lessons fairly early on in Year 1, but picked a Sunday session so that she wouldn't be too tired. We waited for her to express an interest in other clubs before taking her to after school activities.


DontStopBelievin · 14/09/2015 00:40

Don't they do swimming lessons at school now? I thought it was part of the national curriculum

No. They do a term of it in year 5 here (aged approx 9 and 10 year old) and that's it. Far cry from when I was at school and it was weekly!

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