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View Full Version : does anyone have teens that want nothing to do with group activities



my3legacies
06-27-2014, 05:53 PM
My kids will go to park days and play with kids, but most of them are much younger than they are. They dont want to do any type of sports, co ops, boy scouts, book clubs, or anything like that. Does anyone else have kids like this? They are home bodies.

aspiecat
06-27-2014, 06:16 PM
OMG.

That is MY kid, all over.

In his 15 years, he has always been fine with his own company and although he enjoys small spurts of socialisation with other people, he has never been a voluntary group person. He has just come back from his week at psychology camp at EKU and although made friends and enjoyed chatting to the other teens about this and that, he was, he told me in the car on the way home, always cognizant of wanting to be home and alone.

Some kids are just not "into" being with other people more than being by themselves. It's not entirely healthy, IMO, and with DS, I ensure he spends time every day with the rest of the family, and that we go out for walks, spend time out and about...that sort of thing. I can understand his wish to be solitary, however, as DH and I are not really into being around other people either, and we're happier not socialising.

Aspie

crunchynerd
06-27-2014, 06:42 PM
Well, my kids aren't even teens yet, and are getting to the point of being sick of trying "group activities" because they dislike the standard way kids are treated in those scenarios (as if they can't possibly have any brains or competence at anything, and must be spoonfed and micromanaged at all times) and also the way the school kids used to that kind of treatment, behave (as if they really do rise to expectations, and actually have no maturity, competence, or brains).

Homeschool group organized activities generally have modeled themselves after those, and my kids just quit having any hopes of them being social opportunities, because the moms who organize those generally don't give the kids much chance to do anything on their own or freely, because they keep everyone busy and directed every moment. It's their idea of some kind of necessary structure.

If that's the kind of objections your kids have, we sympathize!

dbmamaz
06-28-2014, 12:23 AM
Definitely like that. we did a martial arts class for 3 years with some success, but finally quit that - i was tired of dragging them in kicking and screaming, and then they would behave badly there, too.

My teen did one semester of homeschool choir and band, and quit. He took a dissection class which I made him finish, but it was only like 10 weeks. He took a few individual classes at the science museum, but they ended up dumbing it down for people who insisted on bringing their 'advanced' elementary school kids, so he stopped going. He joined a lego robotics team and quit as soon as the first competition was over.

I do worry a bit - i mean, he has no life at all but his computer games. But we've been weaning him off his meds and he starts community college in 2 months, so I'm really hoping something will click.

Accidental Homeschooler
06-28-2014, 01:06 PM
I have one too. Dd16 has not found her "tribe" so to speak. There aren't very many hs teens here and she is has not connected really with any of them. When she gets together with old ps friends she is bored/out of the loop and doesn't enjoy herself much. I think she will find other smart/sort of quirky geek girls in college. That is my hope anyway. When I worry about her she tells me that she does not have the same social needs as me lol. And I think that really is a big part of it.

PoppinFresh
06-28-2014, 07:24 PM
My son says he isn't a 'joiner' but that's ok, neither am I, and I'm more of a joiner than my husband, so it works for us.

groovymom2000
06-30-2014, 10:57 AM
OMG.

That is MY kid, all over.

In his 15 years, he has always been fine with his own company and although he enjoys small spurts of socialisation with other people, he has never been a voluntary group person. He has just come back from his week at psychology camp at EKU and although made friends and enjoyed chatting to the other teens about this and that, he was, he told me in the car on the way home, always cognizant of wanting to be home and alone.

Some kids are just not "into" being with other people more than being by themselves. It's not entirely healthy, IMO, and with DS, I ensure he spends time every day with the rest of the family, and that we go out for walks, spend time out and about...that sort of thing. I can understand his wish to be solitary, however, as DH and I are not really into being around other people either, and we're happier not socialising.

Aspie

Another one here--he's my classic introvert (13). He spent two weeks (his choice) at a computer camp this summer, and I received daily texts about how much he just wanted to be alone. lol. They stayed in dorms, and he really struggled with the lack of "alone" time-so much so that he took to going to bed at 8:30 just to get away from the group! He enjoyed it in a way, and it was a good experience for him, but he's just not all that much into group activities, and never has been.
He does swimming (and I'm moving him up to the league level, but he doesn't have to compete), and we are thinking about an Odyssey of the Mind team, but overall it's a struggle to get him out of the house. My younger one is the complete opposite, which makes for interesting times around here. I'm with my older one-I can stay home and not speak to a soul for days and be just fine.

aspiecat
06-30-2014, 12:21 PM
We're told from when we're pregnant to start planning all sorts of things, including where we live should be close to schools (ugh) and also close to community activities. If there is a YMCA/YWCA and/or a plethora of non-school type clubs nearby (martial arts, scouts, etc.), then our child is surely set for a healthy up-bringing.

Pfft.

Homeschooled kids often get the all-important skills sports are supposed to give them - teamwork, patience, leadership, etc. - by the very nature of homeschooling. They tend to take part in more "real-life" situations that promote teamwork, and thereby the skills that come from that. Sure, joining a team means kids have the possibility of making friends who are interested in the same thing - whatever that activity is - but to be honest, most kids in sporting and other teams are there because their parents put them there, not because they have a deep interest in the activity itself.

Homeschooled kids also learn quickly that friendships are possible even if you don't see or hear from each other every day. I do get a bit worried that DS is not mixing with people outside of his family enough - there are no HS co-ops or anything close by - but as a result of his recent psychology camp I think he's happy just mixing with other teens whenever he can, and quite likes having acquaintances with similar interests that friends.

Aspie

Avalon
07-03-2014, 05:10 PM
Well, based on what I hear from other parents, it seems like a lot of teenagers don't want to join stuff, even kids who were previously very involved in activities. They always want to know who else is going to be there, how long do they have to commit, are they allowed to quit, etc....

One friend of mine has started letting her 14yo son quit or not go whenever he feels like it, because if she made him attend, then he would refuse to sign up for anything at all.

hockeymom
07-03-2014, 05:37 PM
Homeschooled kids often get the all-important skills sports are supposed to give them - teamwork, patience, leadership, etc. - by the very nature of homeschooling. They tend to take part in more "real-life" situations that promote teamwork, and thereby the skills that come from that. Sure, joining a team means kids have the possibility of making friends who are interested in the same thing - whatever that activity is - but to be honest, most kids in sporting and other teams are there because their parents put them there, not because they have a deep interest in the activity itself.


Really? Is that your experience? When DS was 5 that was the case for a few kids on his hockey team, but they didn't last long. Sports are way too competitive, expensive and time consuming for most kids to participate if they have no interest. Coaches simply wouldn't put up with it.

As for learning teamwork, leadership etc some other way just because they are homeschooled? Sports (and friends) are really my son's only outlet/exposure for learning those skills outside the home or without my presence. Homeschooling is no magic bullet; I'd say we have to work extra hard to provide those opportunities. Of course those opportunities vary for each child and age.

aspiecat
07-05-2014, 11:00 AM
hockeymum - what I mean is that through the everyday dealings with helping immediate and extended family in a variety of ways, through the community service and volunteer work a LOT of homeschooling kids do (mainly because they have time that regular-schooled kids do not), that sort of thing. For instance, homeschooling families that have a large number of children often fall naturally into a pattern of the older kids helping look after and guide the younger children...in that way, mentoring and teamwork come rather naturally.

Also, homeschooled children, at least in general I find, are able to deal with working with partners and in small groups as they are constantly with the same people for school and home life. Tolerance is greater, hence the ability to work with a variety of people does tend, IMO, to be more prevalent in homeschooled kids.

I think we tend to underestimate how well our homeschooled kiddos will be equipped to deal with real-life team situations. Without really making too much effort, most of them seem to turn out able to deal with things at least as well as regular-schooled children who have been in team sports and other group activities for many years. Naturally, not all of our children will have the necessary skills to work in groups, but I have found more often than not most HS kids do when it matters.

Aspie

crunchynerd
07-05-2014, 12:31 PM
Homeschooled kids often get the all-important skills sports are supposed to give them - teamwork, patience, leadership, etc. - by the very nature of homeschooling. They tend to take part in more "real-life" situations that promote teamwork, and thereby the skills that come from that. Sure, joining a team means kids have the possibility of making friends who are interested in the same thing - whatever that activity is - but to be honest, most kids in sporting and other teams are there because their parents put them there, not because they have a deep interest in the activity itself.


Really? Is that your experience? When DS was 5 that was the case for a few kids on his hockey team, but they didn't last long. Sports are way too competitive, expensive and time consuming for most kids to participate if they have no interest. Coaches simply wouldn't put up with it.

As for learning teamwork, leadership etc some other way just because they are homeschooled? Sports (and friends) are really my son's only outlet/exposure for learning those skills outside the home or without my presence. Homeschooling is no magic bullet; I'd say we have to work extra hard to provide those opportunities. Of course those opportunities vary for each child and age.

Well, she's certainly not crazy, because it's been our experience too, but I think you hit the nail on the head: sports and activities that are cheap to get into and stay in, would naturally have more participants who are not serious about it, both the parents, and the kids, and would also attract more subpar teachers/coaches.

We've seen enough of organized sports and activities that were mostly full of kids who seemed not to particularly care or want to be there, and parents who just "stuck them" in there as a form of babysitting, and teachers and coaches who were similarly blase about the whole experience, to kinow that it's not an isolated phenomenon.

I can see hockey (along with other really expensive, and therefore exclusive, pursuits, like English Riding) weeding out the casual comers, and their crappy attitudes, pretty quickly.

dbmamaz
07-05-2014, 12:44 PM
When we tried soccer with Raven, when he was 4 - it was awful. The teams were all coached by parent volunteers. The first season, dh was volunteering and our neighbor across the street was going to assist, but he changed his mind 5 times, until dh said no thanks - but the he did help anyways. And the two of them could never communicate and it was very tense. The next season, there was no helper. We tried to get other parents to volunteer but they just wouldnt. They sat around chatting while dh was trying to handle 20 kids, and several of the kids were bullying Raven! The parents would do NOTHING about it! We were done . . .

crunchynerd
07-05-2014, 12:50 PM
Aspie, you made another crucial point: family size matters a lot! It's such a different playing field with an only child, than it is in a bustling family of 4 or more kids!

When my daughter was an only, I was really dependent on outside social and developmental activities, that I haven't needed nearly to the same degree with subsequent children, who were born into a sort of community situation. Not that that means we never go out in search of social and other activities; we do, but they do get a lot more of that at home anyway, than my daughter ever could, as an only.

I have known some homeschool parents of only children, who remained only children, and it is a hugely different ballgame. Family life is even drastically different: as my family has grown, I came to see (and so have they!) just how vitally important little details like whether we all follow certain protocols socially and in our daily habits , makes. In a smaller family, the overall effect of each person being just a little less orderly, of routines and rituals being a little less tight, aren't so noticeable, but now that I have a "large" family and growing, we were headed for total chaos and misery, until we started adopting some community-like behaviors, and started some real teamwork training.

Leaving the house is no longer hard, because my oldest gets the youngest dressed and ready, the next oldest packs snacks, and the oldest gets the youngest into the car and properly buckled into the carseat, while I do those last-minute things like grab my purse, run a comb through my hair, make sure I have what we need, etc. and now, instead of it taking half an hour or more to get 3 kids ready and into the car, they are "all in their places, with bright shining faces" in the car, patiently waiting for me, when I lock the house and come out with purse in hand, ready to just start the ignition and go.

Now THAT'S TEAMWORK! ;)

And since the older two now see just how fast this place becomes nonfunctional as a home without teamwork and coordination, they have gotten really surprisingly good at "systems thinking": my 6 yo son now sees for himself, how his role of unloading the dishwasher in the morning while I cook, is time-sensitive and an integral part of a smoothly functioning day for us, and is therefore more willing to do it, than when he saw it as an arbitrary chore I made him do.

My daughter understands that the laundry indeed cannot be started later, because it will bring our smoothly flowing system (in which good things like outings can occur) to its knees, because laundry takes time, and must be started early, and returned to at intervals to keep it moving forward, like a factory.

But I think if they couldn't see it for themselves, and see the dire consequences of our system failing with so many people in such tight quarters, it would all be so much philosophical pie-in-the-sky and lecturing, in one ear and out the other. Chores would probably still seem like something I arbitrarily made them do, because in a smaller family, it takes longer for one piece not fitting, to bring down the whole.

What this has taught me is, the attitudes, assumptions, and approaches that small-family homeschoolers have, may differ markedly from those of large-family homeschoolers, but for good and rational reasons. They aren't wrong in their assumptions and neither are we: we're just responding to situations that seem similar on the surface, but are vastly different in the mechanics and strategies.

I still remember how much more challenging it was, to have one child, than it has been to have "many", and that is so counter-intuitive when you look at it, before living it! That's why when someone says something about how on Earth I manage with 3 and another on the way, I tell them honestly, that I have it easier still, than parents of onlies. I was there just long enough to see that that has its own challenges that people generally don't understand, or dismiss.

So homeschool parents of onlies, I salute you. You have a harder job than mine, with a "gaggle" of kids, and I respect it!

zcat
07-06-2014, 01:08 PM
To the original question- My dd has never been interested in joining group activities. As a teen, that has not changed.



What this has taught me is, the attitudes, assumptions, and approaches that small-family homeschoolers have, may differ markedly from those of large-family homeschoolers, but for good and rational reasons. They aren't wrong in their assumptions and neither are we: we're just responding to situations that seem similar on the surface, but are vastly different in the mechanics and strategies.

I still remember how much more challenging it was, to have one child, than it has been to have "many", and that is so counter-intuitive when you look at it, before living it! That's why when someone says something about how on Earth I manage with 3 and another on the way, I tell them honestly, that I have it easier still, than parents of onlies. I was there just long enough to see that that has its own challenges that people generally don't understand, or dismiss.

So homeschool parents of onlies, I salute you. You have a harder job than mine, with a "gaggle" of kids, and I respect it!

I would agree that having one child in the family is a pretty different dynamic. I think every family size/situation has challenges and a certain dynamic to deal with.

I do feel like our family of 3 is maybe less child-centered than families with more children tend to be. Dd is more often involved in our social lives or activities rather than our social lives and activities revolving around hers.
We probably include her more as an equal in decision making in our family than families with more children usually do.
I have time to do a lot with and for dd. On the other hand I also get time to myself pretty easily.
I have a high expectation of dd entertaining herself more than people with multiple children seem to.
Our routine seems much more relaxed although dd does have a schedule and such. I agree that if a chore isn't done it really does not throw off the whole works like it might with a larger group of people.

I don't feel like it may be different but isn't harder to have/homeschool only one child though. It feels pretty easy to me. :)

hockeymom
07-06-2014, 05:35 PM
To the original question- My dd has never been interested in joining group activities. As a teen, that has not changed.



I would agree that having one child in the family is a pretty different dynamic. I think every family size/situation has challenges and a certain dynamic to deal with.

I do feel like our family of 3 is maybe less child-centered than families with more children tend to be. Dd is more often involved in our social lives or activities rather than our social lives and activities revolving around hers.
We probably include her more as an equal in decision making in our family than families with more children usually do.
I have time to do a lot with and for dd. On the other hand I also get time to myself pretty easily.
I have a high expectation of dd entertaining herself more than people with multiple children seem to.
Our routine seems much more relaxed although dd does have a schedule and such. I agree that if a chore isn't done it really does not throw off the whole works like it might with a larger group of people.

I don't feel like it may be different but isn't harder to have/homeschool only one child though. It feels pretty easy to me. :)


Yep, this. :)

hockeymom
07-06-2014, 05:40 PM
Well, she's certainly not crazy, because it's been our experience too, but I think you hit the nail on the head: sports and activities that are cheap to get into and stay in, would naturally have more participants who are not serious about it, both the parents, and the kids, and would also attract more subpar teachers/coaches.

We've seen enough of organized sports and activities that were mostly full of kids who seemed not to particularly care or want to be there, and parents who just "stuck them" in there as a form of babysitting, and teachers and coaches who were similarly blase about the whole experience, to kinow that it's not an isolated phenomenon.

I can see hockey (along with other really expensive, and therefore exclusive, pursuits, like English Riding) weeding out the casual comers, and their crappy attitudes, pretty quickly.

Oh I don't think she's crazy, it's just not something I've experienced. DS does lots of sports, mainly at the rec level (read cheap and low key), and has in several states/provinces and I've just not seen it. I mean, maybe a little bit when he was like preschool age, but not since then. I've never seen sports used as free babysitting either, since generally parents are required to stay during practice and games. It's definitely more work (and money) than not participating! But whatever, we all have different experiences. I think that was my original point. :)

crunchynerd
07-06-2014, 11:50 PM
Fair enough! :)

crunchynerd
07-07-2014, 12:33 AM
You got me thinking. I wasn't taking into consideration what happens when the only, isn't a little child, any longer, because my DD was an only, just for her first 3 years (and those aren't the easiest anyway!).

Imagining now, what life might be like if my DD had remained the only child, at her current age and maturity/independence level, I know life would be easier! Sure, she helps with the younger brothers, but if they weren't there, she'd still be helpful, minus the little tornadoes.

As for kids entertaining themselves mostly, and adults expecting it, I've seen parents of large, and very small, families, exhibit both philosophies: the ones who practically breathe for their kids, and the ones who prefer to foster independence. At the same time, it seems like it would be as fruitless to attempt to micromanage many children, as it would be pointless, to micromanage an only. One isn't possible without total exhaustion, and the other isn't necessary, so both cases are surprising when I actually see them in action.


And when I say it seems like large family life makes individual orderliness more needful, I don't mean to imply there aren't orderly small families. It's just that in large families, that's when it becomes really important, whereas in small families, if orderliness and neat habits were important to begin with, they are far easuer to instill in the one child, than in several in succession, and the consequences for not instilling them, aren't such a big deal for immediate household sanity.