February 19, 2008,
J.S. asks from Wichita, KS on February 16, 2008
Daughter Not Interested in Activities
I have a beautiful and VERY intelligent 6 year old daughter that is not interested in ANY of the fun activities you look forward to when you have kids (i.e. swimming lessons, dance class etc.) She is on a soccer team but moans and groans every time there's a practice or a game but my husband and I have kept her in it. My 3 1/2 year old son is up for anything and wants to take piano lessons and t-ball and anything else he can get into so I feel like my daughter is missing out. Should I force her to get involved with activities or let her sit out on everything?
L.N. answers from Columbia on February 18, 2008
I think 6 years old girl do need to develop some typical girlish activites,such as dancing, piano or sth. It might appear hard to begin with but as parents, we have to help them open more new doors of their life and help them find out their new interests. Come on, be tough if necessary!
L.M. answers from St. Louis on February 18, 2008
You may have to try several different activities until you find something she enjoys. I was a "reader" from the time I learned to read. I could sit and read books and be alone for the longest time. My sister on the other hand HAD to be with friends all the time. Everyone is different so playing sports and being active may not be her thing. Good luck!
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B.R. answers from St. Joseph on February 16, 2008
My daughter was the same way and pretty much still is at 17. However she did eventually get involved in Drama and play production. She is now avidly playing guitar. My suggestion is while she is still young encourage her to try new things, don't force her to stay in them but she has to at least give them all a real try until she finds something that fits her personality and likes. Let her know she does need to find activities to do besides just school and home. Talk with her about what her friends do for activities, would she like to try any of them. Encourage her to talk to her friends about what they like to do. Perhaps she is more artsy? Maybe pottery or painting? These can be fun activities for the family as a whole and she just might blossom while doing it. Perhaps nature? Take walks with her and learn about the plants and animals, birds in your area...
These are just a few ideas, I hope they help...
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M.A. answers from Kansas City on February 17, 2008
My daughter is 8 now and she's been always that way, she is still is, she is only asking for something when a friend does it and usually because we ask her so many times what is it that she would like to do that she finally chooses something (whatever she doesn't dislike too much) Now for the first time she chooses to do Karate and commited to a year of the acctivity (I am hoping that she will because we have to pay anyway!!! She has been going for more than 2 month and still likes it (twice a week). Sometimes it is not about what you think they may like, she is very girly and never thought she would like Karate, buy I made a comment once that it would be nice to know some karate or tae kwon Do as self defense and that stayed in her mind...
She likes to swim but would never compete, she is starting competitve swiming this summer just because that is where she is supposed to be for her age, but I know that she will end up being the last one and won't care because she is not competitive and swims just because she like swimming.
She did dance, ballet, tap, jazz, gimanastics, soccer, tennis, skiing, ice skating, and my husband tried teaching her windsurfing or sailing....nothing worked! She does goes occasionally skiing with daddy, and tennis with him, but doesn't really want to.
Now she is taking piano (she wanted it?) but not practicing the way she should and not being very excited about learning either.
She loves reading, she is inside a book almost every day (new thing since last year) but non stop.
So my suggestion would be, suggest different things that she might want to try, tell her that unless she tries she won't know if she likes it and let her try and quit until she is interested, sometimes they ask to go back to somethign that they tried before....That happened with dancing, we will start again next season.
besto of luck!!!!!
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T.K. answers from Kansas City on February 17, 2008
Hi J.! I feel your pain! I have a seven year-old daughter and a five year-old son. My daughter is the same way, but my husband and I tell both the kids that they have to pick one activity per season. I let her look through the Johnson County Parks and Rec book and let her pick some activities. I also look for short-term activites (ie. dance camps, art camps etc...). Gymnastics is also a great option since you can go month to month. I hope this helps. I just tell my kids that is good to be involved and to try to find something that interests them.
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C.S. answers from St. Louis on February 17, 2008
she is probably shy. this sounds like me when i was her age. or she may not be interested in this kind of things. maybe ask her what activities she wants to try and see if u can switch them to somthing she is more comfortable with. maybe she is a fledgling intellectual and not into sports right now. Activities are not so crucial unless she doesn't interact with others her age or exercise much. do you have family activities on the weekend? perhaps she would like to spend more time with u and dad.
A.M. answers from Kansas City on February 19, 2008
I have/had the SAME problem with my 9yr old daughter! We also did the soccer thing once, not to mention dance, cheerleading, girl scouts - you name it! I dreamed about spending my Saturdays in the spring and fall cheering on the soccer field, my summer evenings cheering at the softball fields, ect..ect.., but my child was having none of it! Then I came across an article in Child magazine discussing this exact topic and it talked about different sports for different personalities and the family in the article had a child whose personality was very similar to my daughters and they suggested gymnastics. I talked to my child, she actually acted interested, so I signed her up and she loves it. She refuses to play any other sport at this point, but at least we have gymnastics! Good luck!
C.M. answers from St. Louis on February 17, 2008
Hi J., Mom of 3 full grown kids here and I run an activities program for people with disabilities, and am an artist; was more of a "hands on kid" growing up, and/or a spectator rather than an athletic type, loved the outdoors, making mudpies a favorite, to read and dress up in costumes (Halloween was a favorite). I will share some insights--please dont be upset, just have seen much--Wondering if you have consulted your peditrician just to determine if there is a physical problem. Is your daughter shy or fearful? did she have some tramatic event during a sports type event like getting stung by a bee, getting hit by a ball or falling? What are her preferences, what really interests her?--does she like to play in the mud, draw or paint, play dressups or does she love animals? Does she have a best friend at school who might go along and encourge her to participate. I would offer her more of anything she seems to enjoy yet insure she learns to swim. Maybe letting her be a spectator and take pictures-- or taking responsibility for "her dog". Talk with her Dr about aspergers syndrome(kids usually have very high IQ's) esp if she is a true loner, attracted to music or sounds, shows any repeatitive behavior. (specualtion that an allerigic reaction to childhood vacinations the cause for asbergers)good luck, C.
J.M. answers from St. Louis on February 17, 2008
I wouldn't force her to do all kinds of things so she'll end up having a bad relationship with you, but I would force her to be involved in something. Explain to her your reasons for why you are wanting her to be involved in something. Tell her that you'll give her the option of things she can do if she chooses something, but you wont let her sit around all day and not do anything. Let your other child make choices also and do things, it's never too early to start your child in extra curriculars. My son at one point was the same way, he wanted to stay home and play video games. When I told him that he needed to choose something or else I would, he then made his choices. I wish you luck with your daughter.
S.S. answers from St. Louis on February 17, 2008
I have the same situation except my 9 yr old is up for anything (she runs track, cross country, plays soccer, basketball & softball). My son who is 5 wants to do nothing. He is content to sit on the sidelines & watch his sister. He said he wants to play soccer this fall but only because one of his friends will be playing. I'm not sure how long it will last but I'm going to let him do it. If he wants to continue fine & if he doesn't want to play next season then that's okay too. As I have learned forcing kids to do something they don't want to do will make them resist it more. I offer the opportunity to my kids & let them decide if they want to participate. Some kids just aren't interested in sports. Maybe my son will want to do something else like Scouts.
I see so many parents having thier kids in the sports my daughter plays & you can tell the kids are miserable. They are the ones that goof off and eventually end up getting hurt.
Offer different things for your daughter to do & let her pick. Remember it is what SHE wants to do (she is the one who has to get out there & play & practice) and not what you want her to do or think she should be doing because all the other kids are doing it.