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Should I force my 8 yr old to join a "group" activity?

My DS doesn't want to join a sports activity of any kind, which I am fine with. He is more of a cars, cars, cars kid! LOL and he loves anything to do with science, experimentation, outdoors stuff, etc. But there is nothing that is a group or club for him to join with other kids. But I feel like he needs that opportunity. I think I would have to almost force him to join it though...but it seems like he is getting bored at home all of the time.
What do I do?! Am I hurting him by him not being in any kind of extracurricular activity?

Answer Question

Asked by sahmamax2 at 7:31 AM on Oct. 5, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 37 (88,208 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • I went through the same thing with my son. I kept asking him all the time if he wanted to join this group or that activity because he was so shy and wanted to just stay at home and play by himself , and the answer was always no. I dropped it and he actually came to me in his own time and asked to be on the school bowling team and then it was soccer and then baseball. Once he saw how much fun it was, he just kept asking to join more things. I'd say to not force him, but keep nonchalantly telling him how much fun something might be for him and perhaps tell him about your own experiences in activities as a child.


    Answer by IhartU at 7:40 AM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • How old was your DS when he started to join in things? Thanks for your answer!

    Comment by sahmamax2 (original poster) at 7:43 AM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • If you force him.. he won't enjoy it.
    Ask the school or Local authority / council, i'm sure there's something in your area involving something outdoors / sciencey....

    But forcing him to do something he doesn't like, in a way he doesn't enjoy, would you enjoy that ?

    Answer by Piskie at 7:46 AM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • Force him? No. Maybe you can encourage him instead to find his interests and immerse himself in a group he is interested in. If he likes science, maybe you can look into your local MESA chapter - I was in MESA when I was a kid, and it's lots of hands-on science and engineering!

    Answer by WomanWitty at 7:50 AM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • sahmamax2... he was in 1st grade when he joined the bowling team and then did soccer the next year and this past summer at the age of 8, he asked to play baseball.


    Answer by IhartU at 8:08 AM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • We required our boys to pick at least one activity or sport each year, but it wasn't until they were in jr high. I would foster your son's love of science and the outdoors by you and your DH coming up with ideas to do with him. You could google science activities for an 8 year old or go to one of those learning stores at a mall for ideas. I would also call the chamber of commerce and see what is going on in your town. GL!

    Answer by elizabr at 8:39 AM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • Don't force him - he'll resent anything you're encouraging him to do.

    Our local museum center has activities for kids related to science and engineering nearly every weekend. Our local Home Depot has an hour long building project nearly every weekend, too. Those are nice because if you show up one week, you aren't committed to a season-long thing. I would point out that the list of your son's interests matches closely with the types of activities most cub scouts do, so maybe that would be something?

    If you are worried about the level of physical activity he's getting, maybe focus on non-team things like taking him for a hike with the family or out riding bikes.

    In general, you won't be doing him or yourself any favors by getting overly concerned about it. He'll find his niche.

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 8:54 AM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • have you looked into scouting? are there clubs at school that deal with those topics? could you start your own club and invite some kids who like the same things?

    Answer by justgrape723 at 9:00 AM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • I was going to say it sounds like he might enjoy the cub scouts if he is into outdoor type activities.

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 9:10 AM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • Try martial arts. My son is also very science/math oriented. He liked soccer but he didn't want to be aggressive and practice enough to get to select level. I did a trial class at a local dojo (they should all have one trial class that he can go to) and he ate it up. I did have to search for one I liked. Some of them were too militaristic for my taste. I wanted one that would be kid-friendly and fun. The older kids are also great role models for my son.

    Answer by mellonhead at 11:01 AM on Oct. 5, 2010

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