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11 yr old never wants to do anything as a family

My son lives at his dad for now. His dad and his last gf split up last summer. My ex is pretty anti social and it is affecting our son. My son used to have friends and liked going out as a family when he came down on weekends. Now whatever we plan he does not want to do. For instance my 21 yr old came over with her kids yesterday and wanted to take ds to the movies. He said no. He said he wanted to see Sucker Punch, not the movie she was taking him to. She thought it was rude, so did I.

My 21 yr old also planned a trip to the zoo as a family again. My son again said no he doesnt want to go. No matter what we plan he does not want to do it. He wants to stay home and play video games and thats a huge no no in my house. His dad lets him during the week though so it makes it hard to break when he is here. Just last weekend we spent a couple hours at the park while my dd practiced for softball and he moaned and complained for the entire two hours.

My dd says not to give him a choice and just to say "You ARE going with your sister" or "You ARE coming with us like it or not". And that is what we are doing, but how do I get him to actually be interested? Is this a phase? I have 5 kids and none of them have ever gone through this "phase" at this age.


Asked by gemgem at 10:13 AM on Apr. 10, 2011 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 42 (148,630 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • I agree, require him to go. Tell him it's his option whether or not he's happy about it and enjoys everyone and the activity, but you hope that he will choose to be happy. It is definitely a phase, and one that will get worse if you give in. It might be a great time to find some outside activity to involve him in like Martial arts, sports, Art classes, Music classes, something......

    Answer by Kimedbs at 10:16 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • Think back when you were that age, did you like going out with family? it is a phase it will eventually go away.

    Answer by older at 10:18 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • I agree that he should be told this is what we are doing. Period. Don't get angry at him just be matter of fact and there is no choice. If he complains the whole time turn a deaf ear to it. Kids are often way more interested than they let on. GL

    Answer by elizabr at 10:18 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • i would just keep draging him along with you to family events sounds like a phase to me and if dad is letting the video game thing happen other than talking to dad about it theres not much you can do other than encourage the family outings when he is with you....

    Answer by cara124 at 10:18 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • more..........make sure everything is said and done in a positive way. Take all negativity and anger/frustration out of it

    Answer by elizabr at 10:19 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • You don't give him a choice. You ARE the parent.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 10:19 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • When I was a kid I hated family outings because some of them were long and I really did have a problem with sitting there for hours watching soccer or something else. Maybe if he brings a book if he can invite a friend once and a while going will not seem so long. He complains but maybe he is at the park get him to walk around or bring a ball or something to do?


    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 10:25 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • down votes for caring to help????

    Answer by elizabr at 10:23 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • I would say definitely don't force him to participate. That will just make a bad time for everyone. However I would not expect him to grow out of it. It may be something as simple as he just has a personality which makes him a loaner and is not interested in being around other people a lot. But I would be concerned. If you have the resources I would maybe send him to a counselor, and that I would force him to do. I'm not saying your son is depressed, but depression starts at earlier and earlier ages and unfortunately suicide is a real fear. I have had an extended family member (a boy, age 12) who used to be active with the family and then changed and ended up killing himself. I would take action now.

    Answer by fulltimom3 at 10:32 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • Thanks everyone and I didnt down vote anyone I dont know who did. In our family you are required to play a sport, but like I said he lives at his dads so that is not a possibility with the way our visits are configured. We are trying to get him back here with us because I just feel sitting in front of a game system or TV all is unhealthy.
    He just turned 11 and I dont remember hating going to do things at 11. So this is a little different for us for sure. Most of my kids always enjoyed our family outings.

    Comment by gemgem (original poster) at 10:34 AM on Apr. 10, 2011