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How do I get my tween daughter involved in school activities?

My daughter is 11 and she is a bit shy. I would like to see her get involved in ANY community or school activities. I have suggested art classes, sports-every one of them, music, student council etc. and she refuses to join anything. Her friends are involved but she will not. She does not hang out with other children after school because they are all involved in something. We live in a small community and I believe that being involved in outside activities is healthy. She just wants to be with me.

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Asked by momsfaith63 at 8:18 AM on Dec. 31, 2012 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 3 (16 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • She'll get involved soon enough. I would be happy that she wants to spend time with you...Give her two or three years and she may not want to have anything to do with you.

    Answer by Ruthmom802 at 7:09 PM on Jan. 22, 2013

  • I would talk to the other parents in your neighborhood, or in the school to see what activities the kids are in.

    Answer by WifeyandMom71 at 2:27 PM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • maybe she doesnt have a best friend yet, tell her the only way she can find one is to be involved.

    Answer by lizzybee44 at 1:21 AM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • I think I would start smaller. If you truly mean are open so that's good. Say she like animals. Have a friend over and visit the local animal shelter. Go a few times. Then you can volunteer with her a few times and work up to her doing it by herself. OR and I am equally okay with this as long as she does not actually have an anxiety disorder....sign her up for something small. If you suspect anxiety talking to a therapist a few sessions could help her move past being right up under you. Separation anxiety or generalized anxiety vp can happen at any age. So no worries. Keep at it. If she attends school with zero problems why the issue away from you when not at school is an interesting puzzle. It could be she and you both know she has no choice in that one. If that's the case then no choice again may works. As in you have an appointment and you made arrangements so she must go to her chosen place. GL

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:49 AM on Jan. 3, 2013

  • Don't underestimate the power of perr pressure. I know we all think its terrible and a bad thing, but most forget to think of the flip side of the coin. I was "peer pressured" into joining Key Club when we moved and I ended up loving it. At my old school, I was one that everyone picked on, so I choose to stay away from social situations, just to stay away from the bullying. And, just so we are clear, I am in no way saying that is what is happeneing to your daughter.
    You said yourself that the girls she has over are nice girls, so you could always just wait it out and see if maybe they draw her into something.

    Answer by spiritguide_23 at 3:07 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • Are you sure it's fear, though? Don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to say I know your daughter better than you do, because I don't, of course. But I'm one of those people that everyone thinks is afraid to talk to people, or afraid to try new things, when the reality is I just prefer having a small circle of close friends, and I don't like big crowds or activities that push me too far outside my comfort zone.

    If you think it's fear holding her back, sit down and ask her. Ask her if it's fear that's holding her back, and if so, what she's afraid of. Maybe then you could help ease those fears. "Okay, you're afraid of looking silyy. Well, so what if you do? I bet at some point everyone in the group will end up looking silly for something. This'll be your turn. Besides, looking silly is a good way to laugh at yourself and break the ice with them." And if it's not fear, good to know so you don't cause resentment by pushing. :)

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:38 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • Thanks for all of the ideas. I think I will start with her being a guest with one of her friends and maybe make a list of some of her interest and see what happens. Our community, as small as it is, offers a variety of activities. I guess I don't want her fear to stop her from trying new things. I'm not a big fan of children sitting around the house after school but I don't want to force her into something she really has no interest in. We did take a pottery class together but there was only one other child. She liked it and there was no long term commitment so this would allow her to do something else's if it comes up. Thanks again, all of the suggestions are helpful.


    Comment by momsfaith63 (original poster) at 2:41 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • Whatever you do just be cautious... pushing her outside her comfort zone could be disastrous... and have to opposite effect!! Think of her feelings as well. Just b/c you think it's a great idea or activity doesn't mean it's right for her (says someone who works with HS kids, & has for years!).


    Answer by Crafty26 at 10:17 AM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • I would tell my dd she's going to do something and she can pick or I will pick for her. I'm not big in kids sitting around the house. Make her a list of options and tell her to pick.

    Answer by missanc at 9:21 AM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • Perhaps you could consider joining something as a family. The YMCA, a gym with youth or family classes, a church or a community center class you could do together- scrap-booking or photography- something that might interest you both. Then you have the opportunity to meet family friends! She may not be interested in being social at school- I never was- but she may enjoy spending time with you and in turn meeting new people with you.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 8:58 AM on Dec. 31, 2012

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