Should I force 14 yo dd to join an activity

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2000
Should I force 14 yo dd to join an activity
15
Mon, 01-30-2012 - 5:19pm

I've been struggling with this for awhile now.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Thu, 03-01-2012 - 1:54am

Is it really such a bad thing for a child to enjoy their own company in their own home?

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 02-29-2012 - 2:12pm

I agree with an earlier poster that it sounds like she's having a crisis of confidence, perhaps in her abilities, perhaps in her social life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2000
Tue, 02-28-2012 - 8:06am

I was becoming hopeful for this summer, because my daughter was going to take the initiative, and volunteer at the local library to assist with the programs for the young kids.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Sat, 02-04-2012 - 6:17pm
I wouldn't wait, find something to do. Work in a food pantry, walk dogs for a shelter, help in a convelasant home, tutor, these things don't have seasons.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Fri, 02-03-2012 - 6:12pm
I don't know.. sometimes I think joining in the teen activity frenzy does more damage than good. My 15-year-old spends a good 20 hours a week in theatre related activities and has been like this since the age of 8 (though certainly more hours the last couple years.) She loves it. It's her passion and her career goal but she's also stressed out trying to make everything happen. I think it'll be OK in the long-run because this is something she loves and is self-motivated in. However, I know lots of kids who leave for college totally burned out, skipping classes and watching TV all day.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe she'll need to find something come high school and I agree that she should have some sort of plan for the summer. I just wonder if less stress and more focus on school will actually have her ahead a bit in the future.

Could her confidence be shaken? You say she used to do several things... when did it stop? Did you see a social drop off during the same time? Middle school girls are really insecure and old enough to recognize when they aren't the best and won't likely EVER be the best. Lots of them withdraw from activities during those years.

I can certainly see needing her to do something over the summer. Perhaps tell her that if she doesn't choose an activity then you'll find a volunteer position for her at a local charity. If she gets her act together and finds something great... if not, well at least she'll be doing some good.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001
Fri, 02-03-2012 - 3:50pm

Ask her what she would like to do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2000
Fri, 02-03-2012 - 2:16pm

We actually just had a discussion (ok, it was more like a minor argument) this morning.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Thu, 02-02-2012 - 10:24am

Would it be wrong to "make" her join something. If not, any suggestions on how to do it without dragging her kicking and screaming to it??

I may be in the minority, but I would require her to join something (force seems like a harsh word, but I guess I would force it). We require our kids to have a plan for exercise/sports (one does karate, one does soccer) and have at least one outside interest (chorus, cheerleading, math club, volunteering, youth group, whatever...). The first is because we want them to stay in shape. Honestly, I'd be okay if they just had a plan to walk for half an hour every day, but so far we have done an activity. The second is because I think that they need to think about something outside of themselves, learn new things, talk to people, etc. We try to model this by doing the same things ourselves. I don't think putzing around the house

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2000
Thu, 02-02-2012 - 7:10am

Maybe the best thing to do is wait until next year.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Wed, 02-01-2012 - 10:35pm
I would find something, book club, knitting club, try a new sport, scouts,etc... My dd sent out 4 applications to schools and received 4 acceptance letters with very nice scholarship offers. All mentioned her clubs and sports, some included scouts and teaching Sunday school. Grades are not enough anymore.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

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