14 yo has no interests and opting out of everything

(78 Posts)
Avago Mon 13-Jan-14 14:49:58

He was a very sporty boy until he dislocated his knee for a second time last year and now he refuses point blank to do any sport outside the timetabled school activities.

I don't blame him for being scared of it happening again, I've never seen anyone in that much pain and he received pretty poor hospital care but it worries that he is now opting out of life when it gets hard.

We still have a good relationship and after several long talks he said part of the problem is the shouting from the opposition / coaches - he hates conflict and being shouted at and the thought of going back to it after such a long break is too much for him. (He never complained when he actually was participating apart from when facing one particular team).

He used to have loads of friends but barely ever sees anybody now.

He does well at school - he's in the top classes for everything with little effort and seems happy enough just playing games on his laptop but I keeping seeing wasted months turning into wasted years and his inability to apply himself to anything worries me.

Any words of wisdom?

isitsnowingyet Mon 13-Jan-14 14:59:37

I'd be very happy if my DS was in top classes for everything. Why is it wasted months if he's not doing sport? Can you encourage him to have any other interests outside of school that don't carry the likelihood of injury? It's a shame that he doesn't see any friends though.

DrNick Mon 13-Jan-14 15:01:03

yes we had htis - we made him ( well we negotiated) two things he had to do and of COURSE he is really pleaase d he did.

I find football very shouty - cricket not and hockey even less ( plus not muddy)

also what about Dof E?

Seeline Mon 13-Jan-14 15:01:20

How about trying less physical sports or ones that aren't team games as such eg archery
You say he has an inability to apply himself - but he is still doing well with his school work?
Perhaps he just needs something different to do. At 14 I think he's too old for Scouts, but there may be a local Explorer group he could join (next level up).

DrNick Mon 13-Jan-14 15:01:43

i would call school and tell his head of year your concerns - get feedback from the staff about how he seems to them

is he eating?

I think this is normal.

DS1 used to be an active boy and a 'joiner'; rugby, sailing, Scouts, volunteering for things.

Since the beginning of Y9, it's all too much effort. He has stopped piano lessons (I am having to choose my battles) and no longer plays in the school rugby team. What he wants to do is sit around in his onesie and text his girlfriend friends.

He barely went out over the Christmas holidays, despite me offering lifts to cinema or friends' houses.

From reading this board, I think it's more normal than you realise.

DrNick Mon 13-Jan-14 15:07:42

Piano is a bloody waste of time though, im on his team.wink

DrNick Mon 13-Jan-14 15:08:33

my y11 still does hockey , d of e and has been recruited by school PE staff( i mailed them) to do tennis and basketball.

he also babysits and skateboards

isitsnowingyet Mon 13-Jan-14 15:36:26

Mmm - I have to agree with ThreeBeeGee as both my teenage DS's similarly spent the Xmas holidays in Onsies lying around doing things on various computer devices.

Good for DrNick's DS. My eldest does martial arts which is violent - but not shouty.

DrNick Mon 13-Jan-14 15:46:27

oh that is after some encouragement

and getting school involved. I said to him you have to do SOMETHING or else you will have nothing to add to your results when you apply for even a saturday job..

Craggyhollow Mon 13-Jan-14 16:35:43

Bad knees are horrible but I would insist on some sport for his health

Swimming would be great and straight leg strokes put no strain on knee

Craggyhollow Mon 13-Jan-14 16:36:47

Onsies and texting fine here BUT only if it's balanced with lots of sport

meditrina Mon 13-Jan-14 16:38:45

What sort of extra curricular activities does his school offer?

If he won't listen to a parent, might he listen to a teacher encouraging him to give something new a try?

Dollydishus Mon 13-Jan-14 16:50:03

I think it's pretty normal. They just out grow stuff but haven't yet grown into the next phase. My 13 yr old DD has given up everything...sport, swimming, dance, etc. I was really sad about it at first but 1. She is working really hard at school and doing well (has extra help and finds academic work tricky), 2. She does text/fb/FaceTime friends so she's keeping in with her peer group.

I think during the next year she'll find new interests this year but I'm trying not to,push it. Anything I suggest must necessarily be rejected due to teenage pride!

Craggyhollow Mon 13-Jan-14 17:10:56

Do these teens who give up everything not do any exercise?

Number42 Mon 13-Jan-14 17:16:48

Our 13yr old dd is another onesie and lying around type. A certain type of teen seems to be into doing nothing (often eldests, in our circle). Have given up fighting it - better to have a nice relationship (which we generally do).

Exercise:
Walks 3 miles a day (no choice, has to get to school and back).
Swimming once a week (does about 40 lengths).
Plays rugby for local club once a week.
Fitness training once a week for rugby.

Plus school PE.

I realise that is not lots of sport but we are not a sporty family. He does some sort of physical activity most days.

None of the above happened during the Christmas holidays though, hence the sitting around in a onesie & barely leaving the house.

Avago Mon 13-Jan-14 17:42:07

Thanks for the replies.

He gave up football, hockey and basket ball when he got injured. He has previously tried and given up athletics, judo, golf, guitar, and Scouts and won't go back to any of them though showed promise at the athletics and judo.
D of E isn't popular here - don't know of anybody doing it actually. Air cadets is a no goer.

He did say he'd give climbing a go with his dad and brother but that lasted one session (sulked that little brother went higher and refuses to go back even without DB).

He promised the physio he'd do some distance running and do an official run but as soon as he came out he said he'd not join a group and hasn't run at all.

Our other suggestions were tennis, badminton, kayaking, water polo, drama or just joining the gym - "NO!" to all of them.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm very happy he's doing well at school but he would do even better if he worked even a little at home and it would be a good habit to be in. Its just about getting by doing the minimum and he's lucky he's so far had the natural ability to carry him through - in a year or 2 it will get significantly harder and with this attitude he'll just give up.

He wants to join the police and I've tried to explain that more than many careers, police need great people skills and he isn't getting them sitting in his room in his onesie but it's falling on deaf ears.

I'm really not a pushy mum, I work from home illustrating and would be more than happy if he just drew with me but no. (Manga, computer graphics /game design also suggested and dismissed).

He doesn't seem depressed though gets very angry if I suggest an activity (the above has happened over months/ years I not bombarding him) just want him to have something in his life other than coasting at school and runescape because I do consider that a waste of a talented, funny, generally fabulous boy's time. I'd just love to see a glimmer of enthusiasm for anything other than gaming ...

shock piano is not a waste of time!

My soon to be teen loves playing the piano.

My teen does play the violin, she hardly ever practises but has her orchestras and clubs where she enjoys the social life.

She is a natural avoider, stopped doing any sports last year but luckily 6 months later she started DofE, she has to do a sport, so she's now doing Karate and volunteers in a charity shop once a week.
If left to her own devices, she would never stop being on her laptop (time is limited) and on her phone (it lives on dh's bedside able every night from 9).

OP, I would talk to him. His knee problems coincide with natural withdrawal due to puberty, but maybe he needs a different sport to be interested again?

Its just about getting by doing the minimum and he's lucky he's so far had the natural ability to carry him through - in a year or 2 it will get significantly harder...

Yes, this is what worries me about DS1.

Dollydishus Mon 13-Jan-14 17:59:32

My eldest is bright and gets by on the minimum. It's very nerve wracking. But they have to find out for themselves. Mine 'woke up' to this about 6 weeks before his GCSEs! Aargh. He did pretty well but could probably have done better. But I nagged him for all of about 2 years and it didn't help our relationship any. Trying to take a different approach with the next one!

Travelledtheworld Mon 13-Jan-14 18:01:17

I think it is an age thing. They lose their childish interests and have a phase of doing nothing much until they develop new interests and confidence to try something else.

My DS 14 has given up with scouts, Archery, music lessons and swimming over the past two years. He and his sister do no exercise apart from walk home from the school bus stop and occasionally go for a walk at the weekend if I drag them screaming and kicking out of the house.

Son did play rugby for school. The main thing that encouraged him was his classmates telling him how strong and fast he is and how he should play. I then nobbled the head of PE ay school and asked if he would give him some encouragement to go to training.

He slept better and was noticeably in a better mood after rugby training and matches.

But my threats concerning obesity and need to be exercise regularly are to no avail. I personally am fit and healthy, swim a mile a week and work in a strenuous outdoors job. DH does a lot of running but DS cannot be persuaded to join in with him.

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