DD with no interests

(18 Posts)
Number42 Wed 18-Dec-13 09:19:52

My eldest DD is 13 and although she is quite musical and artistic, does nothing with either of them. No sport either. Organised activities for kids - no way. She is struggling even to get organised for DofE although her friends are doing it. Suggestions of things she might like to do get a yawn and "CBA". It's not the worst thing to be but I do sometimes have a nightmare vision of her as an adult as a useless slacker staring at a TV screen in a crappy bedsit. She was always pretty much like that, even at primary school, but teenagedom has intensified it. Her younger sister and brother, in contrast, very naturally sign up for various after-school things - dance, chess, drama, football - which they enjoy in a low-key way, without being pushed by us at all. Quite a lot of our friends seem to have this pattern of a bone-idle eldest and more active younger ones. Do others have this; and does it change - will she always be this idle?

Travelledtheworld Wed 18-Dec-13 23:03:36

I also have a very lazy dd 15.
Fortunately she is very musical and plays in an orchestra.
But does BA the rest of the time except message her friends and watch trashy TV.

She is getting plumper but is very attractive and I suspect she will eventually have a relationship with a wealthy older man who will keep her in chocolate.

cory Thu 19-Dec-13 08:41:03

Not everybody is into organised activities, nor is organised activities the only way to find something worthwhile to do with your life.

A year or two ago I could have said the same about ds. But lately I have started noticing how very aware he is of what is going on in the world around him, how much he knows, how much he thinks, how much he talks to friends about his interests and how much he learns from television.

He could, of course, choose to get the same stimulation from attending a club on Current Events. But there is no reason why his interests and his knowledge would be more worthy or more thorough if we paid for him to acquire it at a certain set time on the say so of an adult.

I absolutely loathed the idea of groups and clubs and thought going to school was quite enough of having other people organise my life. But I read a lot (=mentally active), I spent a lot of time roaming the neighbourhood (=physically active), and I wrote stories and poems which I never showed to anyone (=creative).

As adults I think we sometimes overvalue any activity that we have signed up and paid for: it almost feels like a guarantee that we will get our money's worth. And that consequently nothing that has not been paid for can be worthwhile.

mumeeee Thu 19-Dec-13 09:21:24

At 13 sometimes children just. want to relax and do their own thing. They don't need to be in organised activities. DD2 wasn't really into organised activities but then she joined a Drama club which she really enjoyed. Teenagers are not lazy if they don't want to join organised things. I'm an adult but I am not into organised activities in fact how many adults are?

BananaNotPeelingWell Thu 19-Dec-13 09:30:02

Cory That is a brilliant and wise post. Thanks for thatsmile My dd1 is similar. Lately I've realsied that me keeping 'suggesting' things all the time was starting to sound suspiciously like naggingblush She is one of life's thinkers, an observer and if I'm honest so am I. She absolutely point blank didnt want to do DofE despite much prodding about it. I've decided to back off and leave her as long as she's happy. My other dc are by contrast involved in everything going. They all came from me and all have the same opportuniies and support if they want it; so I guess it goes to show we're all different.

Scoobyblue Thu 19-Dec-13 10:41:22

My younger sister was very uninterested in everything whereas I did all the activities I could fit in. She is now a teacher in a super-selective school where she moans about students who don't take advantage of the extra-cirricular stuff on offer???!!! I definitely wouldn't say that she is or was idle - just liked her own space and hanging out with her friends.

BananaNotPeelingWell Thu 19-Dec-13 10:55:49

Just to add I also loathed clubs and regular orgasnised activities and steered well clear when I was a child. I still do. The minute something becomes a regular thing, is the minute I'm trying to back out of it. I was just the same as a new mum when everyone kept organising coffee mornings. I liked the people at them well enough, I just didn't want to be hemmed in to seeing them at the same time week after week. It suffocates me and turns it into another chore to be done. It seems much emphasis nowadays is put upon what you do with your 'spare time', and to be worthy it must be group orientated and preferably competetive or in the limelight mainly so that it can shine on a cv. But spare time should be just that, and if doing those things isnt what you enjoy then they'll never be relaxing. In a world that's driven by deadlines and targets and getting things done by yesterday, there's a lot to be said for making the time for a bit of pottering about imo.

Number42 Thu 19-Dec-13 11:05:22

I think I came over wrong. It isn't about making a fetish out of organised activities - I was never much for them myself as a kid. It's more that DD seems kind of bored and has talents she doesn't seem to want to use to entertain herself. She is artistic - but never does any art except for school; she's musical, but won't learn an instrument (OK, OK, that's an activity); she basically doesn't read any more; she's by nature quite physical and active but bar the odd game of badminton on the lawn with us in the summer, doesn't really do much. It just seems a bit of a shame. There's a whole world out there but all she wants to do is lie on her bed watching Gossip Girl. I guess that's teenage hibernation.

If it helps, I had no hobbies at all when I was a teenager, just friends, boys and TV.
I have loads of hobbies now! And definitely don't live in a bedsit and watch TV all the time grin

SalaciousCrumb Thu 19-Dec-13 19:00:05

My ds hated cubs, couldn't see the point, and disliked other activities he tried such as karate and gymnastics.

If he occasionally does any organised activity at all it has to be completely on his terms. He took part in a school production of Robin Hood in year 6 (now year 7) and really enjoyed it. He helped out at the school Christmas fair.

The more I try to persuade him to join clubs the more against them he is! He hated football club (not helped by having co-ordination difficulties). So I just don't mention it any more. He's said he's interested in maybe helping as a volunteer at the zoo; that sort of thing rather than organised clubs may be the way to go.

If she's artistic maybe non-organised things such as art gallery visits may interest her?

TeenAndTween Thu 19-Dec-13 19:50:21

I don't think it needs to be organised clubs, but that's not the only option to lie on her bed watching Gossip Girl .
In the holidays I insist that both my DDs spend a reasonable amount of time doing something physical, and doing something active (ie not passive). So I don't mind whether its walking or swimming, seeing friends, craft, making up dances, going to the zoo,skating etc etc etc. But not just watching TV & listening to music. I don't mean all the time, but I think if a teen (or younger) can't answer "what did you do in the holidays?" with a reasonably interesting answer then that's not good.

Dancingqueen17 Thu 19-Dec-13 20:31:13

The fact she is considering doing d of e will probably force her to do something more focused, if I remember right alongside the expedition they also do a service, skill and physical recreation activity, it may only be for 6 months for bronze but if any of these capture her interest she may carry them on.

JustAnotherChristmasBauble Wed 25-Dec-13 18:16:39

Completely different line of thinking but...
As a childish did gym/dance etc but we couldn't afford to keep it up. By the time I was 13 I felt "past it" and that I was too old to start something. For example, my friends who did dance had been doing it for 10 years and I thought I could never catch up. The same with swimming, musical instruments, most things really. Even the people who were part of the local drama group had been doing it for years and years.
May not be the case with your DD but thought I'd throw it out there

I never did classes\clubs\organised hobbies.

Surely she enjoys some things - as a teen I enjoyed doodling, jigsaws, reading, swimming (for fun not classes), movies.and listening to music.

She doesnt have to do clubs grin

JustAnotherChristmasBauble Wed 25-Dec-13 19:24:56

As a child I did... Not childish...

Travelledtheworld Thu 26-Dec-13 08:42:23

Good point * Bauble*. My daughter feels the same about many sporting activities.
She did however get a Ukulele last year and has enjoyed playing this as a new instrument, and existing members of the local uke group are very supportive.

Bonsoir Thu 26-Dec-13 08:50:34

Does she have access to good technology? Would she like to have her own blog as a creative outlet?

sicily1921 Fri 27-Dec-13 15:45:30

Both Cory and Banana have made some fantastic points -stemming on MN genius talk if you ask me.

I know where you are coming from OP, who said famously "youth is wasted on the young" because this is how you feel when you see them constantly flopping infront of some screen or other (and by God there's enough of them out there..). The instrument playing is a possibility without being an organised activity though surely? Does she have any at home? I do feel frustration though, my DS, 14 yr used to always be drawing really great cartoons a few years back and now never picks up a pencil, he is just football obsessed. I supposed all you can do is limit her TV time so that she has to do something else. I have always found that 99% of suggestions I make about anything to my DCs fall on deaf ears, I mean as soon as I draw breath to speak I am automatically nagging!!

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