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My 11 year old son shows no interest in anything. My hubby and I both feel that a few extracurricular activities is important. He is in Scouting and that is the only thing. He loves music and sing so he was in choir for a while. He then quit saying he didn't like it. He's not athletic but does swim on a summer swim team. (he only goes because he can raid the concession stand at swim meets but otherwise would rather not bother). we simply cannot engage him in anything. We ask what he is interested in (besides Nintendo DS, computers, movies, all that sedentary stuff) and he cannot tell us. We try to expose him to many things but we are getting frustrated! Next year, we plan to homeschool and I believe the networking groups around our home have plenty of activities but we dread that because we would be 'making' him do stuff! We are just frustrated. the sad thing is that his little brother wants to do lots of stuff but he sees his big bro not wanting to do anything so he doesn't either. Any ideas on how to engage an 11 year old boy?




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Question: How do I get my son involved in extracurricular activities?

My 11 year old son shows no interest in anything. My hubby and I both feel that a few extracurricular activities is important. He is in Scouting and that is the only thing. He loves music and sing so he was in choir for a while. He then quit saying he didn't like it. He's not athletic but does swim on a summer swim team. (he only goes because he can raid the concession stand at swim meets but otherwise would rather not bother). we simply cannot engage him in anything. We ask what he is interested in (besides Nintendo DS, computers, movies, all that sedentary stuff) and he cannot tell us. We try to expose him to many things but we are getting frustrated! Next year, we plan to homeschool and I believe the networking groups around our home have plenty of activities but we dread that because we would be "making" him do stuff! We are just frustrated. the sad thing is that his little brother wants to do lots of stuff but he sees his big bro not wanting to do anything so he doesn't either. Any ideas on how to engage an 11 year old boy?


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Advice from School Family and Our Experts

Lisa @ School Family writes:
Think it's great that you are trying to address this now. Once kids get to junior high and high school it gets harder for a parent to have a lot of influence over extra curricular activities. First a question: are you limiting his time on gaming, computer, etc? If not, would strongly suggest doing this. If given the option, most pre-teen and teen boys would play countless hours on screen stuff (sadly). Most computer and gaming systems have built in systems (or apps you can get) to limit and monitor your child's time. Here is an example: Xbox Family Timer
Asking your child what he is interested in is a great start - having an active conversation, and creating a list of his interests on paper would be a good next step. Once he brainstorms a list, tell you want him to pick one activity and you are going to sign him up for it and commit to the rest of the school year. Try to get him to think outside the box --i.e. does he love animals? Maybe he could volunteer at a nearby animal shelter. Hopefully whatever he picks will spark an interest. It's important that his activities reflect something he is interested in and not something you think he should do. Good luck!

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Community Advice

Boz23 writes:
This sounds very much like a friend of mine and now that their son is 15, he wont do anything but sit in front of the computer! However I have tried to point out to them that they are his role models and they have never done anything together as a family as Dad also plays computer games for hours every day and Mum reads or watches videos on her computer. So I'd say start with looking at what he sees you doing - if you dont do extra-curricular activities yourself, he wont see the point. Try planning a family weekend where you put everything aside for a weekend and spend the time together - the big thing to do though is to get him to plan the weekend. Give him a budget and let him go for it. Other friends of mine have done this one weekend a month for years - their two kids did the planning - often there was a very small budget as thats all they could afford, but they had a ball. If I rang my friend up and asked her to do something that weekend she would always say "Sorry that's our family weekend'. I really respected them for that. The two kids have grown into loving, well-adjusted adults.
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Advice from School Family and Our Experts

Lisa @ School Family writes:
Boz23 - Great advice & suggestions! Think the point about activity starting at home is a really good one.
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Community Advice

natnat123 writes:
you ask him if he wants to do extracuricular
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