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Is it wrong to force my child to play outside?

I have a dilema with my daughter who is almost 5 years old. From the best I can tell, she just flat out does not enjoy being outside. Doesn't matter how nice the weather is or where we are she just prefers to be indoors. Everytime I try to take her to a playground or play in the backyard she whines and says she doesn't want to. She even complains when I try to read her books on the front porch. She'll say "can't we just go inside and read on the couch?" When I ask her why she doesn't like to be outside she says that it's more comfortable being indoors. She likes when I take her to indoor play areas, so it's not an issue of not wanting play physically or be with other kids. I feel bad and don't know what to do. I think it's important for her to play outdoors, but is it wrong to force it if she doesn't like it?

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:20 AM on Jun. 24, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (5)
  • You are not wrong!!! Remember when moms used to yell "It's nice outside, go out and play?!" Instead of just letting their kid sit on the couch and become a fat video game addict?! You are being one of those moms. I say more power to you!

    Answer by ajguinn at 10:22 AM on Jun. 24, 2009

  • Luckily my kids would live outside if I'd let them, but no, I don't think you're wrong. Getting out in the fresh air and into the sunshine is good for kids.

    Maybe take the whole family camping? Maybe she'd learn to love being outside.

    Answer by Cavalrybaby02 at 10:25 AM on Jun. 24, 2009

  • My oldest isn't that bad but she'd prefer to be inside where the TV is except when the pool is open (then she lives in the pool).
    Instead of just letting her sit around inside put her to work. When she whines she's board of cleaning tell her she could go outside to play or you'll take her to the park. A couple hours of scrubbing walls and I'm sure she'll be begging to go out, lol.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 10:33 AM on Jun. 24, 2009

  • Some kids don't want to leave their comfort zone.I wouldn't make a big deal. I would take her for walks and make a game of it.If she is afraid of going to a pool,buy her a wading pool.Does she not like playgrounds?Take her and a playmate to have a picnic on the playground.


    Answer by moomers at 10:35 AM on Jun. 24, 2009

  • I would talk to a dr, just to be sure she doesn't have a fear of being outside. Agoraphobia, I think its called. My friend's mom had this, and she would sit in her kitchen window for hours, to watch Della play. It was sad. When she got older she did begin to start going out a bit more, like sitting on the front porch for a bit, etc.

    And some kids don't like being outside, I still don't enjoy it. There's bees, and bugs and other things that just annoy the heck out of me. Not to mention I have to worry about snakes, just because I have a fear of them (phobic fear), When I was younger yes, I was outside alot because that's where my friends were. But when I got older and we moved, forget it.

    Answer by Lesli at 10:41 AM on Jun. 24, 2009

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